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Raiders Respond to DACA Crisis

Gabriella Rodriguez-Sanchez, Reporter

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As she marched with her sign held high, she yelled out words of protest. She looked sternly to the Texas Capitol building, which housed the lawmakers who could change the future for her family, community and for her country.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, gave permits and legal status to immigrants that came to the U.S. illegally as children. Applications have stopped being accepted and renewals for DACA stopped on Oct. 5.
Freshman Devorah Segura, who marched in a protest to save DACA, said that since there weren’t any active protests in Garland she decided to march in Austin, TX.
“This policy really affects me and our community, because I have a lot of family [protected by DACA] and if they don’t meet the deadline all their rights can be taken away along with everything they have worked for,” Segura said. “DACA represents to me the fact that my immigrant family members have the ability to get jobs and go to college.”
Segura said that it was hard to see her family in such distress. DACA is currently under a six-month extension that started Sept. 5. Congress has been given these six months to create a new legislative fix or program. Segura said the extension truly hurts the members protected by DACA.
“I feel the reason there is a six-month extension is because of the hatred circling around immigrants right now and it’s an unfair burden that stays with them,” Segura said.
Segura said that children who come here for education and a better economic future deserve what they have been dreaming for. She expressed just how hard it was for her to see what the children protected by DACA have to go through.
“Children don’t have an option to come here so they should be able to have better living and education, which is the main reason that most [immigrants] come to the U.S.,” Segura said.
Erika Ortega, AP Spanish teacher, said she has been affected by the DACA crisis because she has a lot of students who are protected under the program. Ortega said she knows that DACA might change even though she believes it shouldn’t.
“DACA gave these kids a chance to go to get educated and many came here, finished high school and had potential to go to college, but they didn’t qualify for financial aid because most have to pay for out-of-state or even out-of-country tuition despite living here,” Ortega said.
According to Ortega, DACA has helped immigrants get their education and also have the ability to apply their knowledge. Upwards of 450,000 people would not only lose their jobs but health insurance provided by their employers.
“Before DACA, there were teachers, lawyers and engineers educated in the U.S. doing construction and cleaning. Because of DACA, they now have work permits to work here legally,” Ortega said.
Ortega said that many non-profit organizations are starting to send help, such as attorneys, to help out with renewing DACA policies on a larger scale.
“Organizations like Projecto Immigrante, Naleo Education Fund and New Hope Immigration Services are all giving free services to those that need it,” Ortega said.
Ortega said that she can’t predict what is going to happen to the children under DACA after Oct.5, but based on historical events she can predict it is going to get worse for households as the issue develops.
“Many are going to start to hide their kids or move in fear of deportation,” Ortega said.
According to Ortega, U.S. history has never been in black and white, but DACA members deserve to be here. She said there is a possibility that the U.S. will lose its best immigrants.
“Most people that are immigrants don’t even speak Spanish, because the U.S. invested their money and services into them. If DACA is gone, so much potential will be lost.”

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