Students are frustrated, disappointed about DACA ending


by Emma Schlenker, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — In response to the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals at the end of March 2018, students on campus have responded with social media posts, temporary Facebook profile photo filters and by sharing posts about the legal rights of DACA recipients.

Students had many reactions about the rescission of the Obama-era program that protects nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants, with most being upset about the action of President Trump.

Junior Cecilia Martinez feels anger, pain, anxiety and hopelessness about the rescission of the program, but not shock.

“We all knew this could eventually happen. I say we as in the undocumented community,” Martinez said.

It is a temporary solution of a much larger problem, a Band-Aid on the gaping wound of the outdated U.S. immigration system, Martinez said.

Martinez was able to receive private school scholarships, work a job and receive a state ID with the DACA grant. All of these benefits helped Martinez feel “like I was out of the shadows” for the first time.

Most of those “DACAmented” through this program will lose the hope DACA gave them, only to be replaced with fear for the future and insecurity about their lifestyles, Martinez said.

Martinez said they feel like they have lost their future opportunities, such as law school, due to an inability to work or the potential of being deported.

Other students fear for their DACA friends and are happy to see the Simpson administration’s response to the issue.

President Simmons reiterated that all students are welcome on Simpson’s campus “regardless of their citizenship status” in a Sept. 5 email to the student body. The college does not track documentation statuses, will not release institutional records without permission and is not required to give law enforcement officers access to private spaces on campus, such as residence halls or classrooms.

Simmons stated the college’s support of undocumented students, but also encouraged undocumented students to evaluate whether or not they should leave the country.

Liz Nimmo, president of the Simpson College Feminist club, said she is frustrated and disappointed with the administration’s decision to end DACA and worried for her friends who are protected under it.

She is “proud that President Simmons has shown his support for undocumented students. I’m glad that Simmons values all students equally, regardless of their citizenship status.”

Some students worry about the future of immigration reform as a whole in the United States.

Sophomore Blake Carlson is concerned Congress will fail to pass a replacement bill by next March due to the political climate.

“Often, it is forgotten that we are dealing with human beings here, and employing uncertainty like this leaves those a part of DACA, their families, and friends feeling scared and alone,” Carlson said.

Students are supporting each other and pulling together within this community to support each other now more than ever.

“To my classmates, neighbors, and friends who are dreamers: Know that you make not only our campus and our community a better place, but you truly are the ones who make all of America great,” Carlson said.