Trump ends DACA


Alejandra Marin speaks at the East Moline DACA vigil at Mercado on September 8th, with Mariela Trevino to her right. The recent decision regarding DACA will leave around 800,000 immigrants in the United States at risk for deportation in, at most, two years. Photo provided by Tar Macias/Hola America

On Tuesday, September 7, President Trump makes the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving Congress six months to save or stop the Dreamers.
Created under President Obama, DACA allows children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents to apply for work permits, driver’s licenses, and be protected from deportation.
President Steven Bahls issued a statement of his support for every member of the Augustana Community on Tuesday. “I joined a list of nearly 650 college and university presidents who signed their support of DACA, and my stance is unwavering,” it read.
Born in Quezon City in the Philippines and brought here when she was four years old, one Augustana student who wishes to remain anonymous has been covered by DACA since she was 15; that’s when she found out she was here illegally. Her mother left for America a year before she did to prepare a house and get a job. “I remember when my mom left. She was trying to say goodbye to me, and she was trying to give me a hug, but I was like ‘no, not gonna happen.’ [I thought] if I don’t hug you, you can’t leave! So I ran away from her, and I ran away from the entire house, and they had to come looking for me in the forest,” said student. A year later she left with her father, leaving her four older sisters behind. “I remember the plane ride was weird. I was in the middle seat. They had crappy airplane food. And then we got there at like 3 am or midnight in O’Hare. I was really really hungry, but nothing was open, so we went to a 24-hour breakfast place: The Golden Nugget.”
Most of her family still lives in the Philippines. She doesn’t contact her relatives a lot. “I feel bad about it, but I don’t as much, because I’ve assimilated so well here. I don’t feel fully Filipino Chinese or fully American… I feel like I’m too Asian to be White and then too White to be Asian. I do wish I’d contact them more often, it just doesn’t feel right, because I left that part of me behind whether I wanted to or not. I feel like I abandoned them in a way.”
The student and her parents left with travelers’ visas, which are much easier to acquire than a permanent resident visa, and then they over stayed their 6-month visa by years. Anytime she was injured, her parents would be afraid to take her to the hospital because they didn’t have health insurance. Her parents did not tell her about her illegal status until she was 15 because, “They didn’t want to tell me until they had a solution for it.”
The student said, “I’ve felt like an outsider most of my life because of my race, and then now you’re saying I’ve never really belonged to this country, but I don’t really belong to the country I left behind, so where do I belong? That’s been a constant struggle.”
Her father has never left the country because when he files to become a citizen it will look better on the application. Even when his parents died a few years ago, he did not leave for the funeral. This fall, he will apply to take the citizen’s test, and then he will apply for the Augustana student. The Augustana student has also never been out of the country. When her grandparents died “it was really rough… I couldn’t go and I couldn’t see them and it just felt like, like I met them once when I was kid, and it felt like I was losing even more of my cultural identity.”
She reapplied for DACA before it was repealed. She is approved to work for the next two years, and then within the next two years she will apply to be a citizen. “Not everyone is as fortunate as me.”
The student hopes for better laws and pathways to citizenship for people who want to make a life in the United States. She said, “If there were clear ways to make sure that the people who come here for the right reasons can stay here, I think we should be looking at that… I want legislators to think more about the people who build the work force here.”
In the Quad City area, on Friday, September 8th, there was a vigil held to show support for DACA recipients. East Moline resident Alejandra Marin, 30, spoke at the vigil. Marin, a DACA recipient, has three younger sisters who also came here illegally, but each of her sisters has a U.S. citizen child.
Marin’s parents decided to bring their family here to give the children a better life and a chance for a better future.
“I feel scared. This is my country even though I was not born here. I don’t know any other country besides this one,” said Marin, who came here when she was seven years old.
Samuel Payan, the director of Multicultural Student Life, encourages students and staff who want to show their support to print out the welcome symbol for DREAMERS.
Safe websites to find information about your rights, to donate, or to get any type of information about DACA are and