by Cindy Pena
Congress is still unable to come up with a deal on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, leaving former Central Connecticut State University student and C.H.A.N.G.E. President, Jose Diaz, in limbo.
“It’s very heartbreaking because I have been watching this very closely and all the developments that have been going on with DACA and what Congress is trying to do for individuals like myself, so they can have an opportunity to be here and be here permanently, rather than just a couple of years,” Diaz, who graduated last December, said.
DACA has been on the line ever since President Donald Trump decided to rescind it in September, leaving it up to Congress to come up with a legislative solution.
About a week ago, Democrats refused to sign a spending bill that did not include DACA, being one of the main reasons for the shutdown that lasted three days, according to The Atlantic.
Trump recently proposed a deal that includes a path to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented individuals that came to the U.S. as children; an increase in border security; and a decrease in legal immigration, also referred to as “chain migration,” according to a one-page memo sent to congressional Republicans.
Diaz hopes that these negotiations can ultimately lead to a permanent DACA deal before permits begin to expire.
“I definitely hope that something can get done. If it’s not today, then it is sometime soon and, by soon, I mean before DACA permits expire. I know that this year, a lot of permits are going to expire, and they are not going to have the chance to renew,” Diaz said. “Also, something permanent needs to happen as well and not just that we are going to extend it for another six months or a year because if they keep doing that, they are going to push it back more and more.”
At CCSU, C.H.A.N.G.E. continues its mission to help DACA recipients both on campus and around the country. Last semester, C.H.A.N.G.E. hosted a rally just after Trump withdrew DACA and a silent demonstration where they stood in the cold with minimal clothing for three hours.
New C.H.A.N.G.E. president, Victor Constanza, will continue Diaz’s steps to bring awareness to the immigration issue at hand.
“It is important to me because C.H.A.N.G.E. works with all these types of issues and, personally, I work with the immigrant community,” Constanza stated. “My family are immigrants, my friends are immigrants [and] the previous president [Jose Diaz], who is a close friend of mine, was a DACA student. So, I feel [that], as a person who has citizenship and an opportunity to help out, it is my job as C.H.A.N.G.E. president to pursue, educate and do what I can to help out DACA students.”
Diaz, who remains an active participant in C.H.A.N.G.E., agrees.
“Hopefully C.H.A.N.G.E. will continue to make some events and raise awareness regarding DACA and its probable outcomes within the next weeks or months,” Diaz said. “Bringing awareness to the issues is important because not a lot of times people know what is going on or they don’t really get it or understand how it affects the lives of individuals, like students at CCSU.”