Tearing Down Walls
Kelvin Whitehurst, Staff Writer~
In the midst of President Donald Trump challenging the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act, students were greeted with an e-mail midday Friday, Sept. 8 from Lynchburg College President Kenneth Garren who delivered a message reassuring those affected by DACA that the students of LC are all a part of the Lynchburg Hornet family.
“We are Lynchburg. Yes, we are the family of Lynchburg. And, if any members of our family are classified as DACA, they deserve our support,” Garren said at the end of his statement.
DACA is a government program that allows the children of undocumented U.S. citizens the right to live, study and work in the U.S. The minors protected under the DACA act are known as “Dreamers.”
With the threat of DACA possibly being terminated and many students across the country being caught in the middle, students across campus gathered to discuss Trump’s decision on Tuesday, Sept. 12. LC’s Latino Student Association, LSA, (formally known as the LC Hispanic Society), along with professors, jumped to action to inform students on the subject.
“Students are very often at the helm of change. They inspire change, and they need to inspire change amongst others as well. As long as the momentum continues, I find it very encouraging,” Indian immigrant and Doctor of International Relations and Political Science, Dr. Sabita Manian states.
Several dozen students packed Schewel 207 to learn about DACA and the situation surrounding Trump’s decision.
LSA President Fabian Miramontes and Vice President Maria Mora presented PowerPoints and videos on DACA and the threat of termination under Trump. The presentation later evolved into an open conversation of understanding the political climate as well as discussion of empathy for the Dreamers caught in the political web.
“We didn’t know what to expect or how it was going to turn out, but luckily the audience participated well, and I really appreciated their feedback.” Miramontes stated.
Senior Emily Horton reminded students, “It’s important that we make the distinction that most people who receive DACA are minors, so when you think about punishing these people that you don’t think should be here, you have to keep in mind that they are not here by choice; they’re here because they have no other option.”
The conversation of DACA and who it will affect will continue at LC. Professors such as Manian and Dr. Pedro Rubio hold these subjects dear, and the LSA will not be backing down from the subject.
“It’s impossible for me to disconnect from [the conversation about DACA], be it in my teaching, be it in my research or be it in my everyday life,” Manian stressed.
For those interested in making a statement against the termination of DACA but who do not know their representative can visit https://makecalls.democrats.org/daca/.