For many students, Sept. 3 marked the end of their American dream and the beginning of a dreadful nightmare. This past weekend, the Trump administration decided it would do away with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, otherwise known as DACA. According to the American Immigration Council, there are approximately 298,133 students in Texas who are considered DACA beneficiaries, many of them college students.
DACA beneficiaries, known as “Dreamers,” are undocumented individuals who immigrated to the United States before they reached the age of 16 and were not older than 30 when the policy was enacted in 2012. The measure allows them to come out of the shadows and contribute to the progression of American society in a safe, open way by allowing them to enroll in college and work jobs legally for two years, after which they can apply to defer deportation for two more years; however, it does not give these individuals a path to US citizenship or permanent residency, putting Dreamers in a confusing and taxing position.
Chances are that most Texas State students have crossed paths or been enrolled in classes with Dreamers; they are students who worked hard to obtain an education like every other documented student enrolled in college; they are students that contribute to the intellectual growth of our own university and provide a vital perspective on what it means to function within a country that has given them paramount opportunities and at the same time degrades and exploits them; above everything else, they are individuals who are here to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.
Although the notion of an “American dream” has largely been proven to be nothing more than a fantasy, Dreamers are the embodiment of any truth that ever existed in the term. No one wants to leave behind the country, people and culture that they love, but Dreamers forced to come to America by their parents in attempt for a better life have done it for the chance to work tirelessly for a better future while simultaneously helping shape and improve the United States.
Without Dreamers, we will lose invaluable voices in our classrooms like that of educator, Fidencio Fifield-Perez who, after being told “people like (him) don’t go to college,” was accepted to seven different schools with the help of DACA and went on to earn an MFA from the University of Iowa. We will lose brilliant researchers like Yuriana Aguilar who is making huge strides in cardiovascular studies and pushing America forward in leading medical research. Dreamers give this country the potential to be great; without them, it’s unlikely it ever could be.
Our editorial board vows to continue to serve every student at this university, documented or otherwise. We stand with those who will be wrongfully endangered by the Trump administration, and we thank them for what they do to enrich the lives of other students at Texas State. Dreamers, we will not let you be pushed into the shadows. We will stand by you and do what is in our power as journalists and fellow students to protect you. This university is yours just as much as it is ours.