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Dos Pueblos Faces Impact of DACA Repeal

Denisse+Villanueva+%2812%29+analyzing+a+political+cartoon+in+her+Government+class.+Her+backpack+is+decorated+with+two+buttons+that+read+%E2%80%9CDefend+DACA%E2%80%9D+and+%E2%80%9CBlack+Lives+Matter.%E2%80%9D
Denisse Villanueva (12) analyzing a political cartoon in her Government class. Her backpack is decorated with two buttons that read “Defend DACA” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Denisse Villanueva (12) analyzing a political cartoon in her Government class. Her backpack is decorated with two buttons that read “Defend DACA” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Photo credit: Mia Capuno

Photo credit: Mia Capuno

Denisse Villanueva (12) analyzing a political cartoon in her Government class. Her backpack is decorated with two buttons that read “Defend DACA” and “Black Lives Matter.”

By Mia Capuno, Opinion and Social Media Editor

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On Tuesday, Sept 5th, the Trump administration announced that it would be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, in six months if Congress is unable to implement the program to provide a more permanent, long-term solution.

The DACA program was created in 2012 by the Obama administration, to grant children who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents at a young age, the permission to attend school, work, obtain a driver’s license, and receive protection from deportation.

The 800,000 Dreamers affected by the decision were rushed to renew their appeals, paying $495 each, before the October 5th deadline, to obtain all legal benefits of residing in the United States.

Senior Denisse Villanueva, an at-large advocate for immigration rights and attendee of the recent DACA rally at the Santa Barbara City Courthouse, was initially shocked by the news drop.

“I felt just paralyzed. Everything felt numb like I didn’t recognize the setting that I was in, I didn’t have any other reaction but to cry,” Villanueva said. “I have no idea what’s going to happen within this period of 6 months and all we can do is just spread the awareness of DACA.”

Students not directly affected by the Trump administration decision have also spoken out in support of the Dreamers.

“I think they should have as much support as we are able to give them,” senior Carolina Zaid said. “These people are being forced to restart their whole life and it isn’t right.”

On Sept 7th, Dos Pueblos High School counselors gathered together in room H-30 with students affected, providing a safe space to discuss their concerns.

“I think they did a good step to connect with their students,” Villanueva said. “At the same time, I don’t think that students may have that comfort of sharing out their own status, you know. They may feel afraid that if they expose their status to their teachers or to their friends, they may be put at risk.”

Bilingual Community Coordinator, Linda Guereña, believes that the best way of dealing with our DACA students is to understand the DACA issue fully.

“I think there’s a lot more students that are not coming and sharing their immigration status because they are afraid of being considered different or being mistreated,” Guereña said. “If we understood the facts and we knew what the history of it is and the reasons why they are DACA students, then we could relate to them in a different way.”

Counselor Silvina Pereira is the long-standing liaison for the AB540 coalition. The assembly bill 540 ensures students who graduate from high school are able to continue their education, attend college, and apply for the California DREAM act.

The California DREAM Act is the name given to Assembly Bills 130 and 131, which give undocumented students the chance to apply for and receive state-based financial aid and institutional scholarships.

“I understood from our counselors that were available, that it was a success,” Pereira said. “The students felt appreciative of being able to find and communicate concerns or uneasiness of feelings that they were having.”

Santa Barbara School District superintendent, Cary Matsuoka, sent out a letter to all counselors within the district in regards to the issue supporting students and families affected.

“We are committed to stand firmly by our Santa Barbara Unified community,” Matsuoka said, “To be resolved in our determination to give every child, every chance, every day.”

 

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Dos Pueblos Faces Impact of DACA Repeal