By Amelia Ludwig and David Medina
One of the qualities CI is proudest of is our diverse community. Under our President, Donald Trump, that diversity is being threatened all over the country. In the past few months you may have heard the terms “DACA” and “Dreamers.” DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program created during President Obama’s term to assist minors that were brought into the country unlawfully. Dreamers are minors that did not make the personal, conscious choice to come to the U.S., but have grown up here and know it as home.
The DACA program provides work permits, social security cards and an employment authorization card to undocumented individuals to prevent them from being deported. This has allowed young, independent and intelligent individuals to pursue their dreams, get degrees and build a career.
President Trump has made the decision to rescind this policy and take immediate action to get rid of the program. After speaking with Martha Zavala Perez, the Coordinator of Underrepresented Student Initiatives here at CI, she gave great insight into what is happening with the program, who it is affecting and what can be done.
After asking Perez how the rescinding of the policy will affect Dreamers, she shares, “It’s a policy but more of a relief for people to proceed with a normal life. This could take away the opportunities for students to continue with school.” Because this was an immediate action, there are now students around the country and here on the CI campus afraid of being taken away from their homes and sent to a country they barely know.
Perez shared some very inspiring and encouraging words for these students: “I know that it’s hard, but try to breathe. And focus on what you can control. We can’t control Congress, but we can control how hard we’re working, so work hard, save some money. We can control how close you get to that degree.”
This affects everyone on CI’s campus because CI has an estimated number of 120 students under DACA. It’s very important in times like these that you stay on top of what is happening and make your support known. You may not realize it but your friends, classmates, professors or coworkers could be under the DACA program.
A few programs to get involved in are “United We Dream” and “Immigration Legal Resource Center.” The Multicultural Dream Center here on campus is extremely focused on supporting students during this challenging time. You can visit the Multicultural Dream Center in Bell Tower 1530 for more information on the matter, find support, meet new people or voice your concerns.