Today I attended a rally at the Eureka Courthouse in solidarity of those affected by Trumps recent rescinding of the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals act.
The rally at the courthouse was organized by local activist group Central del Pueblo, in conjunction with the ACLU. Many students along with faculty from HSU and the local community college were present. A group of about 150 people stood outside the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting chambers, located on the first floor of the Eureka Courthouse.
There is a significant Hispanic population within the various counties of Humboldt. HSU’s enrollment of Hispanic students reached 22% in the last few years, which allowed the university to be classified as a Hispanic Serving Institution and apply for a $4 Million STEM grant.
DACA allows those who entered the country illegally as children (i.e brought here by their parents) the ability to receive renewable, deferred action for two-year periods. Those who are DACA recipients are also eligible for work permits.
This immigration policy has helped so many young people who literally one day realize that they are in this country with no citizenship status.
There are HSU students directly affected by Trump’s white-supremacist politics and promises of “making America great again”– which have proved to be insensitive and overall ignorant to the complexities and multi-layered issues of immigration.
Imagine the shock of a graduating senior applying for college, only to find out she is not a citizen of the U.S. She was brought to the U.S by her family when she was a child and was enrolled into school.
As her friends get acceptance letters and leave for college, she is left with having to navigate her new reality of being an “illegal immigrant.”
This happened to a good friend of mine who is from Jamacia but has been here her whole life. Through the help of lawyers two years after graduating high school, she was able to apply for DACA and gain a work permit. It was very rough for my friend during this period.
Imagine being in high school and wanting to get a job to buy a nice pair of shoes. Your parents then tell you they do not have the proper paperwork for you to attain a job. This happened to an ex-boyfriend of mine whose parents were from Mexico.
These unforeseen aspects are the harsh realities of millions of millennials and others in the United States of America, and it affects people of various races.
At the courthouse today, stern-faced sheriff’s milled close by, guarding the doors to the Board of Supervisors meeting chambers.
At one point, when the group started to chant, “El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido! (the people united will never be defeated), the sheriff’s closed the doors to the meeting chambers before the group could make their way inside.
Renee Saucedo, the Director of Equity at College of The Redwoods, expressed her shock that the Board of Supervisors would not allow a group of peaceful demonstrators inside to hear their message.
Supervisor Virginia Bass came from behind closed doors and addressed the group at that point. She stated she would love to hear the concerns and voices of the community but if they became disruptive, the meeting would be over.
She repeated this a few times, along with the promise to hear the groups concerns at a later time. However, Bass stated she would have to meet with her constituents and put the group on the agenda.
Time is of the essence with many DACA permits requiring renewals soon. Dreamers need help and assurance from city and state officials in Humboldt County that although Trump has vowed to deport millions of illegal immigrants, the county will not work in conjunction with ICE.
I hope Central del Pueblo is able to get on the meeting agenda in the very near future and the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors will agree to pass a sanctuary ordinance in support of DACA students and the Latinx community of Humboldt County.
“We were pretty poor back in Mexico. My parents were divorced. Mom did the best she could. She was always a hustler. She’d sell jewelry, or food, or anything that she could. But a lot of nights there still wouldn’t be enough to eat. We’d survive on tortillas and salt. I was only eight when we came to America. So I was too young to understand. I think my mom thought she could make some money and bring us home. She thought she’d learn English, and maybe start a business. But it was so much harder than she expected. We moved so much looking for work. She’s fifty and she still cleans houses every day. Every year she gets more worn down. She’s been getting sick a lot lately. But she can’t afford to stop. She never will. Right now I’m in school. I always thought I had to be the best student because I’m undocumented. I thought I’d go to law school, or graduate school. But now I’m not so sure. My mom would literally destroy her body to make that happen for me. How could I allow that to happen? I’m a Dreamer. And everyone loves the Dreamers because we’re a perfect package to sell. But why am I the only one who gets the chance to feel safe? Whenever I hear ‘I stand with Dreamers,’ I always think about my mom. I’m not willing to throw her under the bus. I’m not willing to be a bargaining chip to make her seem like a criminal. Everything people admire about Dreamers is because of our parents.” via @HumansofNY