By Syeda Sameeha, Staff Writer
The Elmhurst Student Government Association (SGA) kicked off the school year with their first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 7 by discussing the reversal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
On Tuesday, Sept. 5, U.S. President Trump announced his decision to end DACA, a program which protects almost 800,000 people, most of which are students in the US, according to the Pew Research Center.
SGA Representative Noah Pearson, who has contributed to The Leader, stressed the importance of making a clear stand against this decision.
“Ambiguity on a college campus like this, both as an institution and us as individual students, has no place because in doing so we land on the side that supports this decision,” Pearson said.
SGA brainstormed ideas for ways to stand in solidarity and express support in the midst of this abrupt decision. Ideas ranged from carrying small signs of support to providing information on resources for DACA students and creating safe spaces.
SGA President Estrella Vargas, who has also contributed to The Leader, suggested getting in contact with professionals.
“We had an immigration lawyer come last year who talked about sanctuary movements,” she said. “She seemed really interested in coming back, so I think we should reach out to her.”
A big emphasis was placed on spreading awareness and using education to dismantle the many stereotypes that are floating around about the DACA program.
“With DACA there are a lot of misconceptions,” SGA Vice President of Administration Maria Anguiano explained. “It is basically a work permit. In order to get this permit, you have to have a clear record with no criminal offenses. Most of DACA recipients are students. They are good people who just want a better future.”
SGA Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Simone Salter agreed, saying, “I think education is key in orderto even begin to experience or learn of the life of others and the world around you. I think it’s important for us as an organization to provide that platform for education, however that may be and to whoever at that point in time who needs it.”