Many individuals who entered the United States as minors and remained here illegally are waiting in terror of being deported due to President Donald Trump and his administration’s stance on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
DACA is a policy that was originally enacted to protect child immigrants who live in the U.S. The controversial removal of the DACA legislation by the Trump administration needs to be given as much attention as possible. DACA allows the young minds that where molded here to remain in the U.S. and become educated and working members in our society. Removing this protection of children does not benefit anyone and more needs to be done in terms of creating awareness and fighting back against this injustice.
It is imperative that Geneseo does its part in fighting this removal, as DACA can affect the very students sitting, working and studying with us.
On the university level, sending out a formal email stating the campus supports students under DACA and posting on the Geneseo website about how the school has “consistently and publicly advocated for this vital program,” should not be the sole form of action. The notion that Geneseo supports and wants to help its students is not in question, but rather the measures the school is willing to take are.
There are student organizations at Geneseo like the African Student Association, the Black Student Union, the Agricultural Alliance and many other groups of students who work to bring attention to the Trump administration’s actions against DACA. Students from these clubs and others gathered to hold a DACA panel called Open Conversation: DACA on Wednesday Oct. 3 at the Inter-Faith Center to inform others on what DACA is and how it benefits many individuals. Parents of DACA recipients and some recipients themselves also gave presentations.
Students are coming together and acknowledging this problem, but Geneseo as an institution needs to do more to support Dreamers. While some faculty members did attend discussions about DACA and learned how to guide students to different resources for legal options, improvements must be made.
As our nation, as well as our campus, deals with the issue of the removal of DACA and the injustices it brings upon immigrants, it is important to not repeat the past. Rather, it is necessary to learn from the way our college responded to events last year when swastikas and KKK drawings were found around campus. Whether these acts were jokes or serious threats, the students responsible felt they could deface property with these symbols because they believed no consequences would arise.
Geneseo must take a serious stance supporting students and planning and facilitating events to support DACA, instead of just issuing a statement.
Serious actions need to be taken by the faces that represent Geneseo. Our university should be known as one that supports students of all backgrounds, not just by those who visit our website, but by anyone who is working for or against the removal of DACA. Yes, Geneseo has taken action, but the campus cannot sit on the sidelines because the threat to DACA is only the beginning of what the Trump administration will do to illegal immigrants in the U.S.u