JRNM 151 Students
President Donald Trump’s plans to yank Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the possible deportation of DACA recipients, which was announced on Sept. 15, raised concerns among Lorain County Community College students and administrators.
“It certainly caught our college’s attention,” said Tracy Green, LCCC’s vice president for
Strategic and Institutional Development. “When we heard of this, we immediately wanted to put our attention first on what does this mean for our students and how can we support them in this process.”
Three students, among the 11,000 registered students this semester, are DACA students. Though the number of DACA students seems to be small, “it means a lot. So, we took action right away to identify
who those students are,” Green said.
LCCC has also already communicated with the legislators to understand what it means for the college and the community.
“We are not the only ones who are interested about this in Lorain County.” she said. “So, we’re putting our first and foremost priority on making sure that the students who are here with us under that provision know that we do all we can to support them and keep them focused on their education and keep moving.” she added.
According to Green, the provost office has already reached out to the three DACA students to let
them know that they can communicate with the provost’s office for questions and concerns. “Our role is to let them know that they are safe and they have a home here and that we’re doing everything we can to help them,” she said.
In the past, there were13 DACA students at LCCC. Green said that it may be a small number but “it doesn’t matter as long as there are students like them who are walking through these doors, they deserve their access to a higher education.”
DACA was implemented on 2012 under Obama’s administration gathering around 120,00 recipients that year, a number that according to the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services. has increase throughout the years reaching around 800,000 in September 2017, around 5,000 of them live in Ohio.
The DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, are young people who more likely than not, do not know any other way of life or culture other than the American culture, they were raised and educated in the States. Obama said in 2012 “these are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighbourhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart and in their minds in every single way but one: on paper.”
Matthew Thomas, a physical therapy assistant major, said, “I don’t see how this has a positive impact on anyone. You are uprooting these people’s lives, they’ve lived here all their life, this is all they know.”
Marissa Dawson, a second-year ultrasound technician major, commented, “I don’t see the purpose in trying to force out young people who are just trying to live their lives and actually contribute. A lot of these individuals didn’t have a choice in coming here and just want to live their lives.” She further elaborated by saying, “I don’t have anyone in my family who is affected by this, but I know if I did it would hurt so much, I just couldn’t fathom someone going through something like that.”
Lyndsey Arendash, who is undecided on her major, said, “I think it’s unfair to a lot of Americans who watch these families come to America and have children to simply stay here and not have to live with a real identity. With that said, I believe there’s a better way of improving security. Removing kids that only know one way of living, and putting them in an environment is unfair. Not that they’re not taught it from their parents, like language, culture, and stuff like that, but it’s still a whole other world, and that would be very frightening.”
Cynthia Bores, who hasn’t decided her major, agreed.
“The children affected by DACA don’t understand what is happening and they can’t control the choices their parents or guardians are making. One minute they’re living in one country and then being put into a completely different culture. Some of these children only know America and it would be extremely hard for them to be moved back. Some might not know their native language, have family or friends and it would be a huge culture shock for them. It’s important to protect the children because of their lack of understanding of the situation they were put in.”
The economy also would be affected by DACA cancellation. “There is a greater chance for small businesses closing due to the owners and employees being deported and shortage of workers,” Bores said.
“Morally, philosophically and foundationally, based on who we are supposed to be as a country, to take this action of ending DACA is beyond the scope of reason,” said Cheryl Miltner, the project coordinator for the international initiatives on campus. “The students were brought here through no control on their own and they have lived here and as long as they’re productive citizens it is their right to stay, they are a contributing member to society, they should be allowed to stay.”
Malik Anderson, Tim Edwards, Madelyn Hill, Jonathan Kapalin, Andre Benedict Malabanan, Maria Alejandra Rey, Zac Smith and Kennedy Tesar contributed to this story.