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The Independent

Immigration rally brings schools together

Sarahy Lopez, News Editor

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NEIU’s Undocumented, Resilient and Organized (URO) and North Park University’s Rising Dreamers United held an immigration rally to protest the removal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on Oct. 18, joined by high schools Roosevelt and Von Steuben.

“Undocumented, unafraid! Immigrants are welcomed here! All of us, or none of us,” the crowds chanted between speakers.

URO is an organization of undocumented and fellow students dedicated to providing access to resources, leadership opportunities and a network of support for student success in school. URO believes in full education, full access to resources and participation in all programs at NEIU, no matter the students’ immigration status.

Partnered with North Park’s Rising Dreamers United organization, multiple speakers came forward during the rally to share their experiences as undocumented students, to recite poetry and to protest the change in the legislation.

President Donald Trump moved to end the DACA program in early September. About 800,000 young adults qualified for the five-year-old program, allowing them to remain without immediate removal from the country, and giving them the right to work legally.

“I’m working three jobs. I’m a full time student, and I’m staying,” NPU student Sheyla Casianos said. “I’m not going back to Honduras. My parents left three years ago. My dad got deported…why now? Why should I leave? I was only nine years old when I came here.”

“I’ve been here ten years, three of those years without my parents. Three years I’ve been alone in this country with no financial aid, no support. I’m staying, and I’m letting everyone know that no matter what, we have to support each other.”

Roosevelt High School student Amy Alcala talked about her recent encounter with a couple of CTA passengers who were throwing racists remarks about immigrants.

“We are all the same,” Alcala said. “We all have the same rights. I’ve always felt united with everyone, regardless of labels.”

Carolina Vazquez traveled to the U.S. with her mother when she was only five years old. She revealed her difficult experiences of trying to adjust to her new life.

“I feared going to class. I hated English. I couldn’t speak it. Many of you may think that immigrants come to the United States just because, but do you understand how expensive it is to migrate? This is a life decision,” Vazquez said. Her family lived on Maruchan noodles for a while, a cheap meal that was not available to them in their town of Jalisco, Mexico.

“It’s something that drives the individual towards the edge. We are forced to leave everything, families, jobs, a culture behind, just to reintegrate into a place we have never been to before. Undocumented individuals are not only students. What about the refugees? Our parents? Our uncles?” Vazquez said.

“We are here to advocate for our undocumented students but we are also here to listen to them, to follow their lead, and to let them guide this movement because our students have agency and they have power,” NEIU’s Undocumented Student Resources Director Luvia Moreno said.  

“The very thing they’re asking us to do is to not only advocate for them, but for their parents, for their entire families. Because for this country to move forward and succeed, we cannot separate families, and we cannot divide people with a good immigrant versus bad immigrant narrative,” Moreno said.

President Richard Helldobler recently co-signed a higher education letter to Congress that urges lawmakers to pass a legislation that will protect undocumented students.

“Colleges and universities have seen these remarkable people up close, in our classrooms and as our colleagues and friends. Despite the challenges they face, they have made incredible contributions to our country and its economy and security,” the letter to Congress states. “They should continue to be able to do so. If we are unable to protect these Dreamers, we will be shutting the door to an entire generation of individuals who seek to contribute their best to America.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Immigration rally brings schools together”

  1. AnnaMolina on October 31st, 2017 1:05 pm

    It would be great if the faculty would be honest and tell the students all the facts regarding illegal immigration instead of using them.

    Democrats, MSM, every faculty member at any university in the country fighting to the death for illegal aliens? they put a warm and fuzzy name on it “Dreamers.” and no one seem to wonder why? future voters? can you imagine the Democrats ever being this interested or motivated in issues involving citizens! There is an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients in the US. That is 800,000 jobs American Citizens don’t have or will be in competition for.

    The MSM and Democrats would have us believe that all 800 thousand are not taking jobs Americans want (we’ve heard that lie for many years now.) This is another falsehood told to the American people. Democrats have actually changed the language. It’s not illegal alien its “Immigrant.” (like the lie there just ‘Kids”) there not all picking strawberries they take great Jobs. Good enough jobs to buy homes put their kids through college.Why must the citizens of our country have competition for jobs, education in their own country from foreign nationals? Now Democrats and illegal alien activists admit DACA recipients have great jobs,are buying homes, paying taxes.

    The GOAL, motivation (Democrats just haven’t figured this out yet) is for the American citizens to be employed, sending their kids to college, buying homes and paying taxes. It’s not the responsibility of the citizens of this country to support, educate citizens from other country’s.Deportation will save jobs and decrease the BILLIONS we spend on illegal aliens.

    “Some” of the costs associated with illegal immigration……Dollars and Blood.

    *The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student.

    *Now city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer dollars for legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal aliens being deported.

    *2012 illegal aliens sent home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

    *30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. Does not include local jails and State Prisons. At $21,000 per year expense per inmate in Federal Prison—U do the math.

    *$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3 MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps),WIC, & free school lunches.

    There is also an incredible public safety issues.

    Shattered Dreams American citizen style.
    http://www.ojjpac.org/memorial.asp
    http://www.illegalaliencrimereport.com/

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Immigration rally brings schools together