By TATIANA ALEMAN and NOEMI ALEMAN
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) supports over 800,000 people who were brought to the United States for better opportunities. DACA provides a temporary right to live, work, serve and study legally. Removing DACA will affect the lives of numerous individuals; most of them being young adults and students.
The cancelation of DACA affects a student’s future in higher education and job acquisition. DACA students (“Dreamers”) are limited to the type of higher education they can acquire. A student who was class president, played varsity level sports all four years of high school, top of their class, awarded a musical scholarship and a highly active member in the church should have the same opportunities as any student who was born in the united states should. Dreamers endure emotional and financial stress in the home and prevail over hard circumstances. Student 1 has an associate’s degree in liberal arts and is pursuing a major in philosophy to be an immigration lawyer. Their experience here at the University of Mary Washington has been pleasant. They describe everyone being very friendly, even though they aren’t sure if students or faculty question their legal status.
DACA not only effects the individual in the program but it also effects the family as a whole. Student 1 is currently experiencing a family member being deported because of their change in legal status due to the program status changing. Student 1’s family member will now be deported after being a contributing resident by paying taxes, working hard, and going to church without having a criminal background. They selflessly made the decision to do what is viewed as “right” by law, and running the risk of not seeing their family again for many years to come. Student 1 commented, “They didn’t run or hide from the law”.
Student 2 is upset with the DACA situation. Student 2 commented, “We all were created under God equally, and even if we don’t like each other we should be treated the same regardless of status, race or culture. Everyone deserves the right of freedom of petition and speech.”
As a multicultural club, the Latino Student Association emphasizes community. The majority of those affected by DACA may be of Hispanic/Latino descent but we also acknowledge that all ethnicities whom migrate to the United States are effected. Families travel from all over the world to have a chance at the American dream and DACA was a huge part of that chance. The Latino Student Association wishes to be a safe space for all who feel affected. We stand with all the multicultural clubs on campus and the James Farmer Multicultural Center to fight for equality and understanding. We are here to make sure that your voice matters in this confusing time and after.