Dreamers at South
February 6, 2018
At South, we have students of all races and heritage from all around the world, which makes South High School one of the most diverse schools in Colorado. With this diversity, we can expect there to be ¨dreamers¨ at South – DACA Dreamers that is. DACA stands for The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival. This is an American immigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country as minors illegally to be protected from deportation. This program grants these dreamers access to higher education and a worker’s permit. This act was pioneered by Barack Obama. He started this program in 2012. This program was one of the only things that protected these children and young adults – who want to have a brighter future in a place they consider home; A place they probably have always known.
The intense political fight as whether we should keep the DACA program is very controversial. In September 2017 the Trump administration decided to start ending DACA because they opposed the idea of letting illegal citizens stay and have the same opportunities as legal citizens, as is par for the course with trump’s agenda. This act will affect 800,000 undocumented citizens. But recently things have changed. A federal judge in San Francisco has temporarily stopped the Trump administration from ending the program. As much as it is temporarily it helps the dreamers sufficiently as well as people who want to apply.
I decided to interview students at South High School who have a meaningful connection with DACA. I interviewed a dreamer at this school. I asked him about how he felt about DACA’s situation. He stated ¨I was scared at first, before the federal judge did anything. This situation is really helpful for dreamers like me and now because of this I now have second opportunity. DACA is really important for me, it’s a base for me to grow off of. I am a little insecure that by the time I’m older I might lose a future that I have always wished I could have.¨ We can see here that DACA is a tremendous help for him and other dreamers just like him. There are many other people who aren’t dreamers yet, but would like to become so. I asked another student at South who is desperate for protection, and wants to apply to DACA. She explains how this situation may affect her and others like her. ¨The fact that I’m not from here having this program helps my citizenship, which is something that I want and my family wants. I want people to know that this program is not a way of hurting your opinion but more to the fact that this is keeping me in my home and it helps families stay together and unites them. This program grants me the future I have always wanted.¨
Mr. Pabon is a latino teacher who supports DACA and has gone through the process similar to dreamers (ensuring protection for his future). ¨As an immigrant I understand what people have to go through and the process. Knowing that the situations these kids are going through are extremely hard. I believe they need someone to talk to which I will gladly help.¨ He also mentioned their families have to go through a lot as well. ¨Families have it just as hard because its their children losing their rights, losing their homes, losing their families, losing their children’s pursuit of education. I hope for the outcome to be the best for everyone. I wish that these kids won’t lose anything that will affect their futures.¨
DACA impacts our community at South. Holistically, DACA affects our diverse community and will continue to do so past the eventual Supreme Court decision and ensuing legislation. With the decline in support for DACA to continue, kids at South need to advocate for their rights, as dreamers and as people. You can do so by emailing or calling your local congressman. You can find their info here – https://www.bennet.senate.gov/ – https://www.gardner.senate.gov/