The Sentinel

Students stand by Dreamers

Drew Angrerer | NBC News

Drew Angrerer | NBC News

Jack Wise, Co-Editor-In-Chief

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A calm September morning quickly turned into a nightmare, putting the futures of hundreds of thousand of immigrants at risk. On Sept. 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that President Donald Trump had formally ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with a six-month delay, allowing time for Congress to make an ultimate decision.

    About 800,000 young adults who were brought to America illegally as children rely upon this executive action by President Barack Obama in 2012, which allows them employment, education, and security in the United States.

     In a turn of events, Trump then rervesed his direction after dining with top Democrats in Washington on Sept. 13, possibly indicating they had agreed to a deal that would allow DACA to remain in place through passage of a DREAM Act. But on Twitter a few days later, he made it clear to his followers that there was no deal.   

Regardless of the Trump administration’s inconsistent direction, the Bay Area has made it crystal clear that its inhabitants support the protections granted to the young adults, often referred to as “DREAMers,” under the 5-year-old protection.

One supporter is Northgate junior Lucy Siale, who led a Sept. 10 rally for over a thousand people in attendance around Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza – also known as Oscar Grant Plaza – in support of keeping DACA.

     “The feelings I felt were indescribable,” said Siale. “I felt empowered, supported, passionate, and dedicated to change. I felt an unsurpassable amount of love for each and every person who showed up in solidarity, especially for the DACA recipients and the immigrants. This was all for them. This is their home, too.”

     Alongside student activists showing united support for DACA, school administrators are taking same tone, showing determination to protect students who are DACA recipients.

     “We take the DACA repeal very seriously and we are working closely with the district in order to offer support to those that are impacted by this decision,” remarked Northgage Principal Michael McAlister.

     The Mount Diablo Unified School District is also making efforts to guarantee that students who are on DACA will be protected. The district also highlighted the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, which allows them to not send student records to the authorities.

     “We want all students and our community to know that all students have full access to our schools and are protected from pressures and intrusive actions that would disrupt or impair their education,” district officials asserted in a message sent out on Sept. 5. “We want to assure our students and parents that we remain committed to protecting the rights of every child to an education.”

     As Congress navigates their decision over the DREAM Act, there are many ways the Northgate community can support DACA recipients.

     “There are so many ways, but my favorite would have to be showing up as a fellow community member and neighbor to these folks,” Northgate junor Siale said. “DACA recipients are people, they’re our neighbors, our classmates, the people behind us in the lunch line– and they deserve simple love, light, and acceptance.

     “We can also support them,” she said, “through petitioning, demonstrating our solidarity in the streets, uniting our community through mobilizing together, or through using our money as a tool to support marginalized communities rather than oppressive organizations.”

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