On Thursday, October 5th, St. Catherine University Senate hosted their Defend DACA Rally on the steps of the O’Shaughnessy. In attendance were students, staff, Sisters of St. Joseph and President Roloff. The rally focused on bringing together the student body to support students and their families that are affected by the ending of the DACA program by President Trump.
The rally at St. Catherine University offered students and staff a chance to show that they support DACA students. Katies demonstrated that taking away the program will severely affect DACA students on our campus. Taking away these students from campus will change the fabric of our campus and all that we stand for.
The rally started with chanting. People got ahold of the microphone and expressed what they were feeling about the ending of DACA. Biftu Bussa, 2017-2018 Student Senate President, was hosting the event and she freed the microphone so members of the audience could share their own feelings. The event gave members of our community an opportunity to fill out cards to our local Representatives to urge them to save DACA.
This event stressed the idea that our DACA students have the potential to become doctors, lawyers, teachers, business owners and so much more. They contribute to the well-being of our community and they are welcomed and wanted here. One student during the rally made the point that even if a DACA student didn’t become a doctor, lawyer, etc. they are still wanted. No matter what they achieve here, they are still wanted!
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), “allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to remain in the country…” according to NBC News. The program initially started during the Obama administration in 2012. Since the election of Donald Trump “200,000 more have sought legal status through DACA.” Currently, 800,000 are under protection of the DACA program. The ending of this program could mean deportation of our 800,000 neighbors, classmates, friends, etc. as well as their families.
According to NBC, “The Department of Homeland Security will recognize DACA authorizations until they expire at the end of their two-year lifespans, which means the program runs out at different times for different recipients… The last authorization would end March 5, 2020.”
Students who are already protected under the DACA program are safe until their renewals expire. However, this means that no new applications will be accepted. President Trump made a statement saying “In effect…I am not going to just cut DACA off…” Supporters of DACA, and affected students, may argue by saying that he is, in fact, cutting off DACA abruptly.
President Trump was advised by Homeland Security that “DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.”
According to NBC, the ending of the program has been rationalized by Trump and the Republican Party as “illegal.” This program is also been thought to have “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions “referred to DACA as unconstitutional and criticized it as “unilateral executive amnesty.”
The ending of this program has been met with a lot of criticism nationwide with our former president Barack Obama describing it as cruel. Three states around the country—California, Texas, and Florida—have deemed themselves as “sanctuary states.” Essentially, these states ignore the federal immigration laws in an effort to keep families together and reduce fear around deportation.
If you would also like to show your support of DACA, the Dream Act, or the Hope Act, contact these representatives:
Jason Lewis: District Office- 2805 Cliff Road, Ste 200, Burnsville, MN 55337. (651) 846-2120.
DC Office- 418 Cannon HOB, Washington, DC 20515. (202) 225-2271.
Erik Paulsen: District Office- 250 Praire Center Drive, Suite 230, Eden Praire, MN 55344. (952) 405-8510.
DC Office- 107 Cannon HOB, Washington, DC 20515. (202) 225-2871.
Tom Emmer: District Office- 9201 Quaday Ave, Suite 206, Otsego, MN 55330. (763) 241-6848.
DC Office- 315 Cannon HOB, Washington, DC 20515. (202) 205-2331.
If you want any information on supporting the DACA program, visit these sites:
- Office of Higher Education: https://www.ohe.state.mn.us
- Navigate MN: https://www.navigatemn.org/resources/
- United We Dream: https://unitedwedream.org/about/projetcs/education-deep/
- Here To Stay: http://weareheretostay.org/category/resources/
Among these sites, are countless others. Support our DACA students by contacting our Representatives and visiting the listed sites.