Not everyone asks why. Not everyone says, “no this must not happen.” Not everyone agrees that this is un-American in a land so shaped by immigrants. Many feel this is another insult against justice that we must endure as the war against the poor and defenseless continues. What we do know is that Minnesota State University, Mankato will be affected; we just do not yet know the degree.
Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) – This is 2010 executive action taken by former President Barack Obama that was administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. It provides temporary relief—referred to as differed action—from deportation of parents of underage children who were born as U.S. citizens. It also allows them to work and support their citizen child. It was designed to keep families together while giving U.S. citizens the right to take part in the American education system that they have a legal right to.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – This is another executive action from former President Obama, taken in 2014 and administered by the same agency as DAPA. These are the “dreamers.” They are immigrants who arrived illegally, but applied for and got differed action on deportation for education purposes. It also allows them to work and support themselves.
Both of these programs have been currently reversed by President Donald Trump and I am concerned that some effort may be underway to separate these two issues in attempts to divide supporters of both. It is both programs that are being rescinded and both actions producing reactions within our institution. It is both programs that will affect our fellow students and friends.
While many DACA students intend to return home to put their skills to work, many DAPA students are American citizens who have lived here all their lives. They must now choose between their family and country. They all need us to stand strong with them together against the throwback anti-immigrant ignorance that has risen again.
If your heart bleeds for these groups, as they have come under the axe of injustice, ask yourself, “What have I done?” Reflect on that answer. Have you called your senators or your congressional district representative? It takes effort beyond all those online surveys. Petitions done by state guidelines are far more effective and the Secretary of State office has the suggested format.
Letters signed by individual or multiple people are even more effective. By working together and signing others’ letters you can boost your numbers and the effect you have. Anything that indicates a greater than average concern, a pressure, and a presence, (not just today, but tomorrow and the next day, too). I encourage you all to increase and maximize your efforts; the more varied and genuine the voice, the stronger the pressure. Let’s join with our neighboring institutions in standing for our own.
Comforting and helping those affected in every way possible will ease the burden heaped upon them. Remember, it is far too soon to give up hope, the resistance has just started to build and many still have a voice to be heard.