ACA Opposes DACA Cancellation

Sep 07, 2017
The American Counseling Association is opposed to the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
As stated in the ACA Code of Ethics Preamble, counselors are committed to supporting social justice and to “honoring diversity and embracing a multicultural approach in support of the worth, dignity, potential, and uniqueness of people within in their social and cultural contexts.”

Rescinding DACA is outright discrimination against individuals who were brought to the United States as children, through no fault of their own, and who consider themselves to be Americans.

Counselors know that discrimination is traumatic and can cause mental and physical health problems and disorders. In their professional roles, counselors help clients find safety in understanding the emotions and thoughts that result from harmful or life-threatening events.

In addition, counselors are committed to safeguarding the integrity of the counselor–client relationship for all clients, regardless of immigration status. Counselors ensure that records and documents in any medium are secure. They closely guard the privacy of all clients, disclosing information only with client authorization, including status as a client. Counselor guidance in this area is outlined in the ACA Code of Ethics, Section B: Confidentiality and Privacy.

More information on mental health and immigration status can be found at:

Science magazine: Children of legally protected immigrants less likely to suffer mental illness

Washington Post: The little-known benefit of DACA: It reduced mental illness in dreamers’ children

The Lancet: Health consequences of the U.S. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration programme; a quasi-experimental study

ACA resources and support for counselors

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