Story by Irene Brizuela/Viking Staff/@dear_ireene
DACA recipients were left in shock when they awoke to the news that President Donald Trump had ended the DACA program on September 5, giving Congress six months to find a solution for the Dreamers.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), is a program that grants persons who arrived to the United States as children, prior to 2007, permits to remain in the country legally and obtain a social security number, driver license, and state identification, thus granting the Dreamers permission to work and/or earn their degrees. The permit expires every two years from the date it was processed, and the Dreamers were able to renew it prior to the decision established this Tuesday.
Puente club member Vanity Pineda, 22, Education major, said, “It hit home, it’s so sad, my sister is part of the DACA program, I don’t know what to do, but hopefully Congress does something.”
Without this program, about 800,000 people would lose their permit and they would be forced to quit school and/or their job and either remain in the U.S. living in fear (again) of being deported and without a job, or they would be forced to move back into their country of origin. Many if not all don’t speak their native language, nor have they ever been to their native land. Some are not even in touch with their roots.
The decision made towards DACA students doesn’t impact the student’s ability to attend LBCC, and they are still able to qualify for exemption from non-resident tuition fees under AB 540, and these students can still apply for financial aid under the California Dream Act.
The ASB Representative of Volunteer services, Vanessa Mendoza, 20, Sociology major, said, “I want to use this opportunity to let students know we are united. Our doors will be open and flyers will be at the ASB office. It’s time to be educated and be involved.”
Dr. Reagan Romali, Superintendent-President, in an email said, “I want to reaffirm LBCC’s commitment and continued support of our DACA students. We are dedicated to our mission of education and serving ALL of our students, regardless of immigration status.”
LBCC will offer a number of workshops and services to help students out in this time of fear and uncertainty. Workshops will begin on Wednesday September 6 at LAC located in room E202 with two follow up workshops on September 13 from 1-2 p.m. and September 19 from 2-3 p.m. Workshops will also be held at PCC on Wednesday September 13 and 20 from 9-10 a.m.