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CSCU Actions Speaks Louder Then Words To Support DACA

by Cindy Pena

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, along with other institutions nationwide, are challenging the possible elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by signing on to an amicus brief that supports the lawsuit filed by the University of California against the Trump administration.

The lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security claims the actions to rescind DACA are not abiding the constitutional rights of the university and students.

CSCU and the University of Connecticut signed on to support the lawsuit because they believe the elimination of DACA will hurt students and campuses by forcing them to leave, according to UConn Today.

“The fundamental responsibility of a public education institution is to foster learning, innovation and strong communities to any student willing to put in the work to learn and achieve. We have and will continue to fight for DACA students in our CSCU community,” Mark Ojakian, president of the CSCU system, said in a written statement.

So what does this pledge by CSCU mean to the students at Central Connecticut State University?

At CCSU, there are students under DACA. This pledge gives these students a sense of security. It shows that, although not everyone may be on your side, CSCU and CCSU is.

CCSU has hosted many events in support of these students and their families who are on verge of deportation. For example, a rally was held shortly after the announcement of the ending of DACA.

The rally held by the student organization, CHANGE, aimed to support and raise awareness on the undocumented community on campus and around the U.S. by sharing stories of DACA recipients and students whose parents are facing deportation.

During the rally, Ojakian and CCSU President Dr. Zulma Toro publicly expressed their support to these students.

“How is what is happening in Washington humane? How is telling people one day, maybe in a tweet to begin with, that they are no longer welcomed in the country that they call home? That they are going to be forced, perhaps, to leave our country, to give up their education, to give up their jobs and go back to places that they never lived before. How is that humane?” Ojakian asked. “The stronger we can come together, the better we can make sure that what is being proposed does not happen.”

“Let me tell you with no hesitation that you have my full support,” Toro said at the rally.

Making that public proclamation by telling these students that they are welcomed at CCSU, despite their legal status, is a major step towards change.

Further, by taking the legal action and signing on to the amicus brief shows that Ojakian’s proclamation of support in the rally and those written statements were not just words, they were the beginning of future actions.

Although the future of DACA is not certain, we can hope by these important figures standing up for the undocumented community, it can prompt legislative change on the federal level and fix the broken immigration system.