Education

Hear from an NC college student and DACA Dreamer

Jorge Ramos, right, hugs Yazmin Garica after a protest outside the federal courthouse in Raleigh this month. Ramos and Garcia would both be affected by the rescinding of DACA.
Jorge Ramos, right, hugs Yazmin Garica after a protest outside the federal courthouse in Raleigh this month. Ramos and Garcia would both be affected by the rescinding of DACA. ehyman@newsobserver.com

This month, President Trump announced that he was suspending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, which was approved by President Obama’s administration and allows people whose parents brought them to the United States as children to receive a renewable two-year work permit or be allowed to attend a community college or university.

Trump said his administration would renew DACA permits that expire in six months and asked Congress to come up with an immigration reform solution in that time frame – before March 5, 2018.

On our College Town website, contributor Iman Usmani talked with Cristo Armando, a DACA Dreamer from Acapulco, Mexico. He came to the United States when he was 3 years old and attends Wingate University while legally residing in North Carolina under the DACA program.

Here are excerpts from their discussion:

Iman Usmani: How does the DACA suspension affect you personally?

Christo Armando: Alongside DACA’s suspension come a multitude of social and class implications. With this program being rescinded, I truly realize how arduous the journey for a better life will be for immigrants and Dreamers alike. I now truly feel the animosity or apathy toward Dreamers from those who do not support DACA. I feel marginalized and misunderstood. Why has the land of the free suppressed our potential? And why are we resented by people who do not understand our perspective and journey?

I will never pity our predicament, however, as our situation does not define us – we as Dreamers define us.

IU: How do you think it will affect students?

CA: Students affected by DACA might experience anger, fear, uncertainty and group consciousness [a shared set of beliefs that unite a group]. During these times, students should ignore the former three feelings and focus on the latter. Through the removal of DACA, our community will become stronger as thought and spirit will coalesce Dreamers into taking action expressing our disdain for the president’s decision. I foresee a solidarity across American college campuses among Dreamers and those who stand with us.

IU: What is the best course of action for people looking to fight the DACA suspension?

CA: The best action to take during these six months that Congress has to review the DACA decision is to voice your opinion. There are about 800,000 Dreamers across the United States, and our power and breadth of influence will be unprecedented if we take action. Now is the best time to teach others about our situation and how this political tangent will affect us. It is paramount that we each take our share of responsibility in showing the people around us what DACA is and how it gives us endless opportunity to realize our dreams. It is important that we ignore our ego and talk intimately to friends, professors and colleagues about how much we would appreciate their support and solidarity with our cause. Remaining idle is not an option. We must act now!

Read the full interview at College Town.

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