Campus / News / October 11, 2017

Workshop quells anxiety over DACA suspension


Director of Intercultural Life reads off a question from the audience for immigration lawyer Tejas Shah (Julian Blye/TKS).

In an attempt to better inform undocumented and DACA-mented students of how to respond in the event of encountering immigration law enforcement, M.E.Ch.A and Lo Nuestro co-sponsored a Know Your Rights workshop last Wednesday.

The workshop was held for the second time this year, after hosting the first panel in March to address issues of immigration laws, DACA and sanctuary campuses.

Since Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that provides baseline protections for undocumented students, was suspended Sept. 5, the workshop was used to address the anxieties and concerns DACA-mented and undocumented students might have.

“[We] wanted to provide another opportunity for students who have an interest or concern or are looking for information for friends and family members about what that decision [to repeal DACA] actually means,” Director for Intercultural Life Tianna Cervantez said.

The workshop featured a returning panelist, Tejas Shah, Immigration Counsel at the law firm Franczek Radelet P.C., and was hosted by Cervantez and Vice President for Student Development Anne Ehrlich.

Shah, who was skyped in for the workshop, presented an extensive PowerPoint with generalized legal advice and alternative routes undocumented students who missed the cut-off date for DACA could explore.

“It is important to remember that hope is not lost and there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Shah said. “Think about who you can get on your team, and ask them to make calls [to their representatives] on your behalf. The solution [to immigration reform] is going to be a legislative solution.”

Although he was unable to give specific legal advice for what each individual student should do, Shah presented on a range of topics, including immigration relief for DACA recipients, temporary visas, changes of status and questions students could ask during a legal consultation with their lawyer.

Co-President of M.E.Ch.A senior Karla Medina mentioned that the information provided by the workshop was extremely helpful to students and brought up possible alternatives they had not previously known about.

“It might have been general [legal advice], but there was a lot of information that I had never even thought about, [such as] options for immigration,” Medina said. “We requested that he talk about the immigration ban and new additions to the ban, so we were getting information not only from a media perspective, but from a legal perspective as well.”

Medina mentioned that the workshop was very successful in giving DACA-mented and undocumented students an idea of what the next step should be and in quelling some of the anxieties they were having since the repeal of DACA.

“We worked on these demands since the time when Trump had just been elected and he was very strong about ending DACA back then, so we wanted to quell the anxieties students had that weren’t being addressed,” Medina said. “It’s even more relevant now because DACA has ended and this is information people need now to do whatever they might need to do to take care of themselves.”

Cervantez explained that Knox students can help their DACA-mented and undocumented peers by calling their representatives, because the only way immigration reform will happen is through legislation.

“This hits us personally Ñ they are our students. We say we are one community; Knox is one community. I think that if that is where our ethos lies, then we would support our students and make those phone calls,” Cervantez said. “It’s only fair, it’s only right, in my mind, to say that we need comprehensive immigration reform and a way for our undocumented youth to stay here without consequence and repercussion.”

Sierra Henry, Co-News Editor on Email
Sierra Henry, Co-News Editor
Sierra Henry is a senior Political Science major who is minoring in journalism. During her time at Knox she has had her work published in the Robinson Daily News, the Galesburg-Register Mail and Cellar Door. In the summer of 2017 she studied abroad in Bologna, Italy where she worked as a student foreign correspondent.

Tags:  DACA DACA-mented students Know Your Rights Lo Nuestro M.E.Ch.A. Tianna Cervantez

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1 Comment

Oct 12, 2017

What the taxpayers have paid because of illegal immigration is the real crime.What I find most interesting is the all out BLITZ by the Democrats, MSM, every faculty member at any university in the country fighting to the death for illegal aliens? they put a warm and fuzzy name on it “Dreamers.” and no one seem to wonder why? future voters? can you imagine the Democrats ever being this interested or motivated in issues involving citizens! There is an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients in the US. That is 800,000 jobs American Citizens don’t have or will be in competition for.

The MSM and Democrats would have us believe that all 800 thousand are not taking jobs Americans want (we’ve heard that lie for many years now.) This is another falsehood told to the American people. Democrats have actually changed the language. It’s not illegal alien its “Immigrant.” (like the lie there just ‘Kids”) there not all picking strawberries they take great Jobs. Good enough jobs to buy homes put their kids through college.Why must the citizens of our country have competition for jobs, education in their own country from foreign nationals? Now Democrats and illegal alien activists admit DACA recipients have great jobs,are buying homes, paying taxes.

The GOAL, motivation (Democrats just haven’t figured this out yet) is for the American citizens to be employed, sending their kids to college, buying homes and paying taxes. It’s not the responsibility of the citizens of this country to support, educate citizens from other country’s.Deportation will save jobs and decrease the expense of illegal aliens. There is also an incredible public safety issues.

“Some” of the costs associated with illegal immigration.

*The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student.

*Now city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer dollars for legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal aliens being deported.

*2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

*30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At 21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison—U do the math.

*$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

*$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps),WIC, & free school lunches.

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