Anayeli Auza, peer mentor for the Scholars Without Borders center and math major at HSU, was a year old when she arrived in the United States. Her parents came to the U.S. two weeks later. California has been her home ever since but the Trump Administration is trying to change that.
On Tuesday morning, the Trump Administration officially announced the phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. They will no longer be accepting new applicants and will only give current applicants one more renewal as long as their current DACA permit expires before March 5.
“I won’t be able to renew mine because I just renewed mine on January of 2017 and mine expires in two years,” Auza said.
The resignation of DACA also means that the nearly 800,000 undocumented students and job holders will not be able to come back into the U.S. if they choose to travel to Mexico or go abroad.
“I was planning to go out of the country just because my grandma has been very sick and it has been 10 years that I haven’t seen her,” Auza said.
HSU’s Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan (MEChA) responded to the news with an emergency rally at the UC Quad at noon on Sept. 6.
“First and foremost it’s [the rally] to stand in solidarity and to show the students who are under DACA that we are here for them. It’s also for awareness, I am sure there is people who don’t know what is going on because it just doesn’t affect them,” Tania Cubas said, secretary of MEChA and main organizer of the rally.
Co-chair of MEChA Nathaniel McGuigan said, “I believe that a decent amount of people are aware of DACA, at least those within the POC community. People around the country are rising up in protest against Trump rescinding it. I believe there is a movement behind DACA in terms of protection. That movement can be carried out here.”
McGuigan is right when he says that there is a country-wide movement behind DACA. This weekend Microsoft, Apple, Google and various other tech companies decide to speak out against Trump’s decision to resign DACA. But McGuigan thinks this issue is even more relevant than that.
“I know people who might be affected by this. However, I also believe this is a human rights issue. As human beings we have always reserved the right to migration. In terms of migration a lot of it has been caused by global climate crises, the toppling of socialist governments […] which lead to increased numbers of refugees across the world. It is definitely a huge issue that we can relate too because everyone is affected,” McGuigan said.
While there is fear and uncertainty for the future, the Trump Administration stated that they are trying to soften the blow by rescinding this program over the next six months. According to them, DACA will not be completely erased until 2020 but they are also handing over the issue to Congress.
This gives the DACA movement some more time with aspirations that senators and Congress members will see a better light.
“As long as we keep organizing and fighting and making noise I think it can pull through. My hopes are always high for better outcomes but I feel that not much will be done unless we make our presence very noticable, put pressure on the Administration put pressure on the CSU system and also the UC system,” Cubas said.
Auza also expressed feelings of hope and strength, “It not only affects each person but it also affects a lot of corporations. As long as we have people in power who support us, we have the voice of each individual and gather together […] we can put pressure on the Trump Administration. Even some Republicans are against ending it. If we all stand together and go out protest and sign petitions we will be able to make a difference.”
** MEChA meets Thursdays at 7 PM in Nelson Hall room 106
Scholars Without Borders will have an open house on Wednesday, September 13 at 5 PM