Documented and undocumented students showed their response to President Donald Trump’s decision on rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival act. Students gathered on the stairs outside Alkek Sept. 5 for a silent demonstration.
Amairany Villa, criminal justice senior, was present at the silent demonstration. Although documented, Villa said she supports the community of undocumented students because it is important for all groups of people to join in together.
“I can use my privilege to stand up for others,” Villa said. “Being an ally, I believe we should be standing up for this cause because we are a Hispanic institution. Besides that, this decision was sparked from a chain of events, and there could be a chain of events after this.”
Students sat dressed in white shirts and holding signs that said “#DefendDACA” and “We rise by lifting others up.” The silent protest lasted from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Although DACA does not affect higher education directly, students are affected because of the work permit, drivers license and social security granted by the program. These documents allow students to support themselves or their families. The decision has left the 800,000-people protected by the immigration policy and wondering where their fate falls in terms of obtaining jobs or if they face deportation.
President Denise Trauth responded to the decision made by the Trump administration.
“Texas State is committed to the well-being of all members of the Bobcat community, and it is our aim to do everything within our legal authority to achieve that goal,” Trauth said. “We will begin discussing how this action might impact individuals and the university community, maintaining our commitment to inclusion and diversity in a way that complies with all applicable federal and state laws.”
The Department of Homeland Security will stop the processing of new applications for the program as of Tuesday. The administration also announced a plan to continue renewing permits for anyone whose status expires in the next six months.
Former President Barak Obama released a statement on Facebook addressing Trumps action taken on Tuesday.
“To target these young people is wrong – because they have done nothing wrong,” Obama said. “It is self-defeating – because they want to start new businesses, staff our labs, serve in our military, and otherwise contribute to the country we love. And it is cruel. What if our kid’s science teacher, or our friendly neighbor turns out to be a Dreamer? Where are we supposed to send her? To a country, she doesn’t know or remember, with a language she may not even speak?”
The next six months gives congress the opportunity to make a law pertaining to the program. In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump tweeted he would revisit the issue if Congress did not act.
The tweet read, “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!”
Amid the confusion and uncertainty, Trump stated this is the best long-term solution. Congressional leaders have said they are ready to work on this issue, but no time frame has been given.