Colleges and universities throughout the nation have been vocal in their denouncement of President Trump’s ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Among many, Boston College regarded the executive decision as an outright“mistake” while Harvard University deemed it as “cruel.” The American Association of University Professors deemed the end of DACAa “continuation of the anti-immigrant racist policies that the administration has supported from the start.”
Nearly 800,000 young immigrants are recipients of the DACA, a program that allowed young illegal immigrants to obtain jobs legally and to avoid deportation. Some of whom may very well be students here at EC.
In his email, president Troy VanAken acknowledges the repercussions of what is perhaps one of Trump’s most unethical decisions. Yet, his email misses the chance to denounce an executive order that directly involves the well being of DACA recipients.
These are tough times for the minorities of our country in which the rebirth of neo-nazism, fascism, and anti-immigration rhetoric have been fueled not only by unethical executive decisions but also by our own tendency to remain neutral amidst clearly unjust decisions by our government.
Young immigrants are not “bad hombres,” as Trump’s political campaign has painted them to be. They are much like ourselves — hardworking, educated and law abiding taxpayers that have lived in this country for a majority of their lives. While many refuse to see it, DACA recipients have as much a right to be deemed American as any one of us.
EC’sunconditional support, legally and emotionally, ofDACA students presents a first step towards acceptance and understanding. Furthermore, President Van Aken’s efforts to lobby for a hastier congressional decision to maintain DACA protections certainly encapsulates the right measures in response to such harrowing times.
Still, DACA recipients deserve to hear that EC’s political stance against rescinding DACA, a program that had previously given them hope, opportunity for a brighter future and protection from deportation. While we have taken the correct measures towards providing resources and support for our DACA students, a clear stance on its wrongfulness is equally as pertinent in advocating for their rights.
All academic institutions should be vocal in advocating the collective interests of its students, which was embodied by the numerous colleges who had made statements on DACA. This is especially true of institutions with a large Hispanic presence such as UIC and Oakton Community College.
While EC does not necessarily have as large of a Hispanic presence, there is still an immigrant presence within our campus that are very much affected by Trump’s racist agenda against immigrants.
This straightforwardness and lack of political ambiguity is something we as an academic institution need to work towards. Our lack of a political stance is more damaging than asserting a clear stance in denouncing DACA.
In the shoes of a DACA recipient, one would find a great deal of reassurance in knowing that their college is in full acknowledgment of the unethical nature of President Trump’s executive order.
We as an academic institution have a duty to stand up to unfair policies, discriminatory legislation, and completely heinous executive decisions by president Trump. One of the most commendable aspects of President VanAken’s email is his urge for our community to reach out to our fellow legislators regarding our disagreement with ending DACA, and that is precisely what we should do.
The following contact information belongs to our district’s elected officials to whom we can address our concerns: