Thursday, October 19

Submission: UCLA community must join the fight for the continuation of DACA

In summer of 2012, former President Barack Obama and his administration created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals through executive actions. This program has changed the lives of nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants by providing work authorization and relief from deportation.

But as we near the five-year anniversary of the creation of DACA, we also face the very real threat that it may soon be destroyed. This issue heavily impacts UC campuses, including our own, as UCLA is home to about 600 undocumented Bruins. Regardless of whether these students have chosen to disclose their immigration status, they are present, they matter and they deserve to stay.

Ten states are threatening to take legal action if President Donald Trump’s administration does not end DACA by Sept. 5. Similar court challenges led to the demise of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, which provided relief for undocumented parents of American citizens and lawful permanent residents, and was rescinded by the Trump administration in June.

But while the future of DACA seems bleak, we as a campus must rally to fight for its continuation and for the passage of other legislation that will protect the undocumented community. This includes calling your senators and holding the UC administration accountable for protecting our undocumented students.

Last year, the Undergraduate Students Association Council External Vice President’s office lobbied in support of the BRIDGE Act, a bipartisan bill that would codify protections for undocumented immigrants through Congress. In short, BRIDGE would be a legislative “fix” for DACA, which critics argue was an overreach of executive authority.

On July 20, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Dick Durbin of Illinois introduced DREAM Act legislation. This bill differs from DACA and BRIDGE Act by providing a pathway to citizenship for select undocumented individuals. Eight days later, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez introduced the American Hope Act, an even more expansive bill that would provide permanent legal status for undocumented youth.

Certainly, these bill are not without their flaws. However, given the looming threat of DACA’s repeal, national advocacy organizations, such as Asian Americans Advancing Justice, National Immigration Law Center and United We Dream, have chosen to rally behind this legislation. Even if Trump vetoes immigration reform legislation, a strong show of bipartisan support might elicit more favorable concessions from his administration to prevent the deportation of parents of DREAMers and other immigrants.

The USAC EVP and General Representative 1 offices are in support of the continuation of DACA and the passage of legislation like the Hope Act, because they protect our communities and serve as crucial steps toward more humane and comprehensive immigration reform. But we also recognize we must focus on legislation that creates more permanent and inclusive immigration policies. Not every undocumented immigrant qualifies for DACA, and DREAMers are not the only immigrants deserving of protection.

While undocumented immigrants enrich our country in countless ways, we should remember to sympathize with them not because they fit a model of what we think a so-called “good immigrant” is. We must stand in solidarity with these people not because they are parents, children or college graduates, but because they are human, and should not have to live in fear of the threat of deportation.

DACA’s repeal would impact more than just immigration policies: Without DACA, your peers will lose the right to higher education, the right to find employment and the right to live in a country they call their home. The future of thousands of people are at stake. It’s imperative that legislation such as the BRIDGE Act, DREAM Act and American Hope Act be taken seriously. They need not only our approval, but also our support.

On July 26, we collaborated with a number of community organizations to set up a phone bank to call elected officials about immigration from Kerckhoff patio. As we near the looming Sept. 5 deadline, we hope you will join us in future lobbying efforts. We must also support the work of initiatives like Undocumented Students for Advanced Retention and Community, advocate to make UCLA a sanctuary campus, and be unapologetic about our voices and our narratives.

Solis de Luna is a second-year political science and communication studies student. Mendez Vargas is a third-year political science student. Both are immigration advocates in the USAC EVP office. Corona Diaz is a second-year political science student and USAC General Representative 1.

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  • Blak Cofie

    I’m sure ANYONE reading this article will believe it’s fair and non-bias LOL Right? Mrs Diaz, DeLuna and Vargas?

    Did you know that you can sign up for Daca up to age 31? hardly “kids.” Illegals do NOT enrich our country. They are a drain on our economy in literally every way.. 800 THOUSAND Daca recipients taking 800 THOUSAND jobs from American citizens. They DEMAND in state tuition for college when they’re not even citizens of this country! Again we pay…..NO on Daca, Sanctuary city’s, NO on in state tuition.

    Some enrichment and contributions…………..

    Shattered “DREAMS.”

    • DeAndre Darnell Jackson


      • Dre_loves_Trump

        Real nice comeback DeFandre..

    • DeAndre Darnell Jackson

      You’re not going to take on jobs performed by illegals, you lazy bum. They require hard work, long hours; not for the weak like you.

      • Blak Cofie

        So all 12 million illegal here are only picking strawberries Einstein? Grow a brain.

        • DeAndre Darnell Jackson

          So all 12 million illegals are a drain in the economy and don’t contribute at all? Go collect your welfare check.

          • Blak Cofie

            Yawn you’re not very bright are you? sure they contribute with jobs that should be for American citizens. The goal is to have CITIZEN contributing NOT foreign nationals. Okay schools out.

  • Pelosi’s Derrière

    DACA is unethical and should be rescinded at once. It rewards people for conspiring to traffic minors across our borders and burden US taxpayers with their education and healthcare needs.

  • Armando_Cedillo

    Universities – both private and public – reserve the right to admit how ever many students on a given year that they want to based on what ever academic metric they devise. Same goes for sovereign nations when it comes to admitting immigrants – not all foreigners are desirable or worthy of admittance.

    Most of the parents of DACA recipients probably failed out of the 3rd or 4th grade in their native countries. They possessed rudimentary skills and little appreciation for sustainable population growth or family planning. That is why they never qualified to immigrate to this great country.

    The “Dreamers” have to eventually wake up and smell the coffee – they are the unfortunate recipients of stolen assets (US residency and all that goes with it) and it is their moral obligation to relinquish those assets. If they refuse to then ICE must break their intransigence and compel their return home.

    • Andres Rincon

      Can’t steal something that is given to you. The country is of those who work and contribute to its society. People that are raised in the United States and only know this as their home should be encouraged to participate in society, they believe this country to be their home, how can they be compel to go somewhere they know nothing of. These people have human rights and those that want to live a fruitful peaceful life in the land they were raised to love should be given a chance to do so.

      • Blak Cofie

        How do you know all 10 million illegal have no where to go? May have recitatives in their country’s of origin. Americans FIRST.

        • Andres Rincon

          I am not saying that I know 10 million people have no were to go, I am sure some of them do. What I am saying is that if someone comes here as a child and has gone to school and raised in a American society and want to contribute and assimilate to american culture and language and do not know any other land as their home should be given the opportunity as individuals to succeed in the place they call home. I believe that hey are fighting to the death to stay here, because this is the society they were raised and they believe the United States is their home. I agree with you that the people waving the Mexican flags are idiots, but I think there are individuals that should be given a chance to show how much they love this country and how they are willing to better themselves to make our society better.

          • Blak Cofie

            You’re too kind. But American have to come first in employment, education and that is not happening. There arrogance and sense of entitlement is off the charts. Besides all of that the risk to our citizens is too great. They have to get in line like EVERYBODY else or leave.




          • Andres Rincon

            We can both agree that people that are committing crimes need to leave and be prosecuted. But I just do not see how kicking out people that were raised here and are part of american culture, that are working and getting an education, that have no sense of other place to call their home is going to help America. Perhaps we can find a balance where there is a zero tolerance for people committing crimes, and they are exposed and kicked out like is happening now with the websites you have shown, securing our border, is also happening now. And also giving the good people that are out there that speak English, that were raised in the United States and are trying to contribute to our society a chance to live in the only place they know to be their home.

          • Blak Cofie

            Because it affects Americans negatively financially, and safety. I know I sound like a hard liner (I am) but feeding off the generosity of the American people doesn’t get you any points. They need to be deported and in time they will be. DACA is unconstitutional and Trump will NEVER break his campaign promise to end it. Lastly even if it makes it to the US Supreme Court it will lose 5-4 or 6-3.

          • Andres Rincon

            Well I guess we will agree to disagree, I can agree with you in having a strong border control and deporting and prosecuting people committing crimes. But I don’t think that giving people and chance that were raised here is a negative impact. I think people are from the country you are raised and identify with, so I believe these people are Americans, a piece of paper is not the thing that makes someone American. I hope that they can at least find some sort of compromise for the people that already in the system of DACA they had the courage and faith to come forward to the U.S. Government.

      • Armando_Cedillo

        DACA recipients are effectively in possession of stolen immigration slots since the United States only awards a certain number of green cards per year and these aliens never went through the proper channels. Their parents smuggled/trafficked them into our communities. They should all be deported.

        • Andres Rincon

          DACA was given by the U.S. Government if they fit withing the parameters and criteria given. It doesn’t make sense for someone to say that they stole when it was given to them by the Government. DACA are not given green cards they only get work permits. There is no way for them to attain a greencard trough DACA.

  • Valery Gomez

    DACA students should at the very least pay full out-of-state tuition (they are after all, foreign nationals) at any university or college they attend in the United States. They should also be required to repatriate after graduation and take the knowledge they’ve accrued in order to improve their own countries.

    • Andres Rincon

      I think this is a policy state by state in regards to who pays out-of-state tuition, I know they are not eligible for government student loans or financial aid. Regarding the repatriate, I am not sure if if its wise to make someone a professional and then give them away to a foreign power. Better for them to stay here as professionals.

      • Blak Cofie

        No its better for 18 year old CITIZEN Bobby Jones who lives in Texas and has to pay in state tuition if he wants to go to AZ state. Better for smaller class sizes, better to not offer incentives for illegal aliens to illegally come here..

        • Andres Rincon

          agreed 18 year old CITIZEN Bobby Jones who lives in Texas should be able to pay for instate tuition in AZ state. I think people or Arizona state should petition for that if you would like that to happen. If he lives in the state for a set amount of time he can start paying instate tuition, one of my friends only paid out of state tuition for a year then he started paying in state it varies from state to state. but yea that petition should be brought out. I don’t think it has to do with DACA and immigration. Universities are just trying to make more money, i think if they kicked all the illegals you will still have out of state tuition.

  • Peter

    I am going to be an American citizen by the end of the month. I consider this to be one of the biggest achievements in my life. it is a a result of 30 years of persistence, efforts and excellence. I was a top A student in another country, went to college, worked my way up to a professional engineer, moved to Canada as legal resident, got a job with a major company in US and got sponsored for GC. I deserve to be here and I have the right to it. You have right to nothing. Just because you crossed the border and lived here, got education here and grew up here you don’t acquire the right to be an American. There are millions of people around the world that can do the same given the chance. You should consider what you got here a gift from this country and its people and not a right. Take this gift from this country and its people back to your country and try to make it great as it is US. If you come here legally you will prove that you have the right but DACA gives you no right to anything.

  • Chi Lau

    Why is it in any law-abiding citizen’s interest to fight for a program that rewards illegal behavior?