The ending of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) affects DREAMers – those who were protected by DACA – in every state, every city, and even at Agnes Scott College. Agnes Scott College itself is a safe haven, so students would be safe from deportation all four years here. However, the futures of seniors are more uncertain.
A senior DREAMer student who will be referred under the pseudonym Drea, sat down to describe the uncertainty that DACA’s ending brings and the process the school and the students have taken in response to it.
Soon after the news hit, the college, as well as President Kiss sent out correspondents about the steps the college were taking to help. She also further showed her support to the DREAMer students by setting up a meeting with lawyers and the students affected. Lawyers answered any questions relating to the pressing matter and talked about further legal steps that were possible to pursue.
“I felt very supported by the college,” Drea said.
During the meeting, help was also offered to DREAMer students to renew their DACAs before the deadline the Trump administration gave of October 5, 2017. This was an option that some DREAMer students, Drea included, were able to pursue, making their DACA to be still active for another 2 years.
Action from the students themselves was and is also needed, which is why the organisation Freedom at Agnes was created.
Freedom at Agnes have made efforts to increase student awareness by informing the general student body about the ending of DACA and what it means for the DREAMer students. This has paid off in that more and more students are becoming curious about Freedom at Agnes and having discussions about the ending of DACA.
Other groups and organizations such as Publius, the pre-law club, have joined Freedom at Agnes for events like calling their representatives and Congress people.
The responses from the student body and the college itself have really pleased DREAMer students. Drea said, “I think that this year after DACA ended, I have seen the most support for [DACA] as opposed to other years where were like ‘eh, we don’t know what it is, not really interested.’ But after it ended I feel like we garnered more support for it…and definitely a lot more support from Agnes and the students.”
Even though the responses so far have been pleasing, it goes without saying that the student body can still help out their peers affected by DACA. DREAMer students still need their support in order to enforce the government to get long lasting legislation out that will help DREAMer students.
“We still have a long way to go to fight for our right to stay here and advance our education, our careers, etc,” Drea said.
Drea believes that the best possible way for their peers to help is for them to connect. She said, “I guess we just really want more people to be aware of who we are. Once […] you put a face to an issue- it’s more relatable and it helps [you] get on board with it, so I think by just like having that opportunity of giving themselves that opportunity to get to know us: who we are, our stories. And I think a lot of people can relate.”
An example of ways a student can help seniors and students affected by DACA as a whole is going to the events set up by Freedom at Agnes. For example, on October 25, Freedom at Agnes and Publius called senators and Congresspeople to encourage them to take action to help out DREAMers.