Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augie joins national stand with immigrants

Augie Junior Vicente Serrano writes why he stands with immigrants at the Gerber Center on October 22, 2019.

Augustana hosted the first “I Stand with Immigrants” Day of Action Campaign on Oct. 22.

Augie wasn’t alone in this campaign and stance on DACA policy. On this day, the campaign included over 150 universities and colleges in 36 states that advocate for immigrants. Institutions across the country voiced their stance to make a difference.

The emphasis on this year’s nationwide Day of Action was on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

DACA is an immigration policy that protects kids brought to the United States. The campaign focused on DACA because several cases about it are going to the Supreme Court on Nov. 12. The Court’s decision will determine the future for hundreds of thousands of young students who rely on DACA to pursue higher education and protect them from deportation.

Resident Director Da Zhane’ Sinclair became involved in the campaign when she attended the University of Illinois-Springfield. Sinclair’s father is a Jamaican immigrant who came to the U.S at age 18, and she promoted this event for two years at University of Illinois-Springfield. This year, she proposed the idea to the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity at Augustana.

“I think it’s important to do these events because I don’t think a lot of us, American students, realize that without immigrants and people that come to the U.S., we wouldn’t have many things. Immigrants add to our culture and help form America,” Sinclair said.

“DACA students are not eligible for FAFSA,” Liz Nino, Director of International Recruitment, said. “It becomes quite challenging for DACA students to apply to college because they’re limited to merit scholarships.”

Because the students aren’t eligible for FAFSA, a challenge for DACA recipients is finding a way to afford college.

The largest problem is that some schools, including Augustana, do not offer scholarships to completely cover tuition costs.

“These students really are depending on their parents and relatives,” Nino said. “It’s so admirable because these kids are getting by year by year and not sure if the next year is going to happen.”

In Sept. of 2017, President Bahls made a statement called “Support for DACA.”

“Last November, I joined a list of nearly 650 college and university presidents who expressed their support of DACA, and my stance is unwavering,” Bahls said in the statement. “Higher education provides one of the best ways to become a contributing member of our society. Augustana College values and supports every single member of our diverse campus community, today and in the future.”

“Our campus community welcomes all who want to be educated for leadership and service in our diverse and changing world,” Bahls said. “Augustana College embraces the hopes and dreams of all our students, and honors the gifts and talents they bring to our college and to the world.”

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Augie joins national stand with immigrants