Growing Threats of Deportation
Student fear grow as Trump takes further action on immigration
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Cal State LA held its second Democracy in Action event on Tuesday which focused on immigration and refugees. At a University with a student population that identifies as over 50 percent Hispanic, many people are praising the administration and the school for providing these platforms to discuss immigrant rights.
Concurrent to the event was Homeland Security Secretary, John F. Kelly’s approval of guidelines for the deportation of undocumented migrants which has many students worried about their future. The guidelines give authority to federal agents to more aggressively deport undocumented persons.
“Students on campus are afraid of what President Trump could do to their families. It’s hard enough to go to school and work but it’s even harder when adding the stress of the threat of deportation,” said Carlos Flores, a sophomore Communications major.
President Covino released a statement regarding the growing fears of deportation amongst students and faculty. “If approached by federal, state or local authorities on campus and asked to provide documentation of immigration status, students, faculty and staff are advised to immediately call the Department of Public Safety for further guidance. Public Safety will act as a liaison with requesting authorities and work with others on campus to provide assistance.”
At the event Professor Aminah Bakeer Abdul-Jabbaar opened the panel, welcoming Muslim students by saying “asalam alekum.” Professor Alejandra Marchevsky laid out the statistics of deportations, explaining that people deported are primarily family breadwinners. Professor Chor Swang Ngin overviewed refugee and asylum status seeker legalese and went over historic classifications of each based on countries and nationalities.
During the Q&A portion of the event, students asked the panel about the legalities of becoming a sanctuary campus and if it would make any concrete change. They also discussed policing and the intimidation of multiple police jurisdictions Cal State LA falls under.
As a result of these changes in federal policy, many students are foregoing the California Dream Act applications. From last year there has been an approximate drop of 40 percent in applications. Assemblymembers from across California have introduced HR 20, a bill which encourages students to apply for the Dream Act.
Jose Medina, a Representative of Riverside said in a statement, “…the current political climate has deterred our students from even applying. My colleagues and I introduced HR 20 to declare our unwavering support for our Dreamers, and to encourage them to pursue the promise of a higher education.”
These Representatives want to stress that the applicants for the financial aid are not shared with federal government agencies. The California Dream Act is not related to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. If you would like to submit an application, they are due by March 2.
There will be an upcoming Know Your Rights Workshop on March 11 and another Democracy in Action event held on March 21. If you would like to attend any other workshops and events that will discuss undocumented immigrant rights, please visit http://www.calstatela.edu/postelection/events.