Rally Underway in response to Trump’s Retraction of D.A.C.A
The smog and ash from the fires finally began to clear, yet it was emotion that hung heavy in the air this afternoon at the UC Quad. After the Trump administration announced this Tuesday that it will formally put an end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, or D.A.C.A. An end date was placed on the legal protections that were granted to approximately 800,000 undocumented people who entered the country as children. In response, M.E.Ch.A (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) De Humboldt State held a rally that took place this afternoon in the UC Quad. Students, faculty and members of the community came out in support of the Latinx community and those who may be affected by the recent retraction.
As Karla Sanchez strolled calmly up to the microphone, the crowd quickly grew silent. Sanchez is an HSU student, member of M.E.Ch.A. De Humboldt State and a DREAMER. When she started to tell her story, her voice shook ever so slightly, and her eyes began to water. Sanchez’s parents brought her to the United States when she was only two years old. This year, she walked across the university graduation stage, but now Sanchez is here in the UC Quad to prepare for the next stage of her life in the face of the retraction. Even under the weight of her situation and with the fate of the Latinx community in clear view, it only took her a moment to strengthen her spine and speak before her local community with power and with pride.
“Come out of the shadows and don’t be afraid,” Sanchez said. “We are supported in the school.”
Sanchez said she felt that community support and action is vital, and she kindly turned to the crowd to ask for support.
“Start speaking in your classroom, bring up the problem, ask what’s going to happen,” Sanchez said.
Anayeli Auza is yet another HSU Student, member of M.E.Ch.A. De Humboldt State and DREAMER that came to the rally to voice her support for the Latinx community and stand in solidarity. Auza came to the United States when she was just one year old. While reflecting on her childhood after moving to the United States, she posed the question, “How do you tell a 12 year old that a paper defines their opportunities?”
The answer to that question, she couldn’t provide. Both then and now. As of Tuesday, an unshakeable sense of worry and fear hangs over Auza regarding the future and the futures of other DREAMERS in the community.
“People who are walking around don’t know what’s going to happen. Stay strong out there,” said Auza.
While spirits were low in the face of a future so uncertain, the support was evident. The concrete seats, lawns and the balconies lining the UC quad were packed with students and members of the local community, some part of the Latinx community and others allies, but they had come to lend ears to listen, express their support and stand in solidarity with the Latinx community.
In the midst of the rally the crowd began to chant,
“Defend D.A.C.A, Down with Trump, Down with U.S. imperialism.”
“This country is built on the blood, sweat and tears of immigrants,” said Cesar G. Abarca, Assistant Professor of the Department of Social Work.
Abarca came out to speak on behalf of the Latinx community and those who support them, expressing not only a, “need to recognise that fear,” regarding the implications of the retraction within the Latinx community, but a great need for support from those outside of the community.
“We need you right now, a lot of us are in the shadows,” said Abarca.
In an email sent Tuesday afternoon to HSU students and staff, President Lisa A. Rossbacher expressed her support for students affected by the retraction, saying that, “Humboldt State University stands with you, and we care about you. We’re going to keep doing all we can to help you succeed in school and become Humboldt alumni.”
In addition, she also expressed her feelings about the retraction itself.
“I’m frustrated by this short-sighted thinking of our leadership at the national level. I want America to do better. We need America to do better.” said Rossbacher.
“By doing so with no alternative solution in place, our government has created uncertainty and fear for hundreds of thousands of people, including thousands of college students.”
Rossbacher also came to speak at the rally to show her continued support for HSU students affected by the reaction.
“I was horrified by the announcements today,” said Rossbacher.
“I join all of you who are part of D.A.C.A., especially our students.”
“We are human beings, damn it,” said Marisol Ruiz, who came to the rally to stand in solidarity and act as a voice for her community. She spoke from the heart with intensity and integrity. When speaking about how her mother was deported when she was young, she turned to the crowd to offer them a piece of advice
“Don’t feel alone,” said Ruiz
When HSU student and Dorm Community Advisor Steph Cardenas found out about the event yesterday, she immediately began filling the walls in her dormitory with flyers for the event.
“Silence is violence,” said Cardenas
Cardenas feels that it is pertinent to be a voice in such a time, because to her, “being silent is being on the same side.”
Here are a few things you need to know if (Now that) D.A.C.A is repealed:
- If the DACA program ends students enrollment and tuition will not be affected. In addition, funding under the DREAM Act will not be.
- Depending on what action the government takes, you may not be able to continue to work on campus or other place of work. Federal law forbids employers from knowingly employing individuals who lack proper authorization to work in the country.
- For undocumented students traveling abroad, it is likely that they will not be able to re-enter the U.S. upon return.
- If you are traveling within the U.S., you should be permitted to travel within borders, but you may be asked for identification or about your immigration status.
- If you you encounter Customs and Border Protection, they are authorized to verify your status. CBP agents can conduct a search if they have, “particularly probable cause.” Motorists are not required to consent to a search. If you have DACA, you can bring a copy of your EAD and your approval notices just in case you are asked questions.
- If you come in contact with a police or immigration officer, observe your rights granted by the U.S. constitution.
- If you are concerned about keeping your family safe, you can help them develop a safety plan as well as inform them of their rights. See the Immigrant Legal Resource Center Family Preparedness Plan.
Scholars Without Borders is located on the second floor of the Multicultural Center.