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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

DACA Ruling Heightens Anxieties of Undocumented Students

Polet+Diaz+in+her+office+attached+to+the+Warrior+Cross+Cultural+Center.+%28Signal+Photo%2FNix+Carbone-Deep%29

Polet Diaz in her office attached to the Warrior Cross Cultural Center. (Signal Photo/Nix Carbone-Deep)

In the wake of the Texas trial where Judge Henen ruled that DACA violated U.S. immigration law, Hispanic CSU Stanislaus students feel they are in a more precarious situation as DACA climbs closer to the Supreme Court where it might be ruled unlawful and strip all recipients of their DACA status.
Polet Diaz, the Dreamers Project Coordinator at Stan State, reported the fear she observes from the undocumented and Hispanic students who visit her regularly.
“We have seen much more fear and anxiety just because we know it might go all the way to the highest court,” Diaz said, “Meaning at that point, we don’t expect something positive coming out.”
The Supreme Court currently holds a conservative majority, with three of its judges appointed by former President Donald J. Trump.
Stan State is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, with a Fall 2020 report showing that 58.3% of its undergraduate population identifies as Hispanic and that 3.7% identify themselves as a non-resident alien. 
These students and their families, including alumni, would experience great tragedy and suffering if the repeal of DACA led to the loss of their benefits.
Diaz explained what the immediate consequences would be if DACA was ruled unlawful.
“[DACA recipients] would essentially be back to their original being undocumented without protection and without the work authorization that provides them the ability to work in the United States. So that’s the part that scares our students,” she said.
Additionally, initial DACA applications have been on halt since 2018, meaning that many recently enrolled undocumented students attending Stan State are not receiving its benefits.
“Two years ago, it was that most of them were DACA recipients,” Diaz said, “However, the new wave of students coming are no longer DACA recipients because they could no longer apply for DACA.”
This means that once these undocumented students graduate, they will not have authorization to work in the United States in their desired field. Their movement is also restricted as if they left the country, they would be denied re-entry.
It is not only legal obstacles that these undocumented students face. 
Adrianna Lomas (Senior, Anthropology), the Event Coordinator for Stan State’s Cross Cultural Center, reported that her undocumented peers face social discrimination for their status in unexpected places.
“Recently we had an event here, like a healing circle, where undocumented students were talking about how their dating lives are affected by their status and that a lot of people don’t feel comfortable dating them because it’s a lot of responsiblity, or they see it as a lot of responsibility, to date someone that is undocumented,” Lomas said.
“It’s little things like that that are really big things, like normal things that everybody kinda just experiences that are skewed for them,” she said.
The details of Judge Henen’s complaints against DACA were elaborated on in a webinar presented by Cal State’s Immigration Legal Defense.
One of the lawyers, Manoj Gouindaiah, explained that Henen objected to two aspects of the executive order: the claim of its temporary nature and the issue of advanced parole.
Henen argues that DACA should be made law in Congress, and that the current executive order maintaining DACA is a means for the Biden administration to bypass that process.
Gouindaiah also explained that advanced parole is a legal protection that allows DACA recipients to exit and be granted re-entry into the country. Henen, however, sees it as a way for DACA recipients to “subvert” the law.
However, the legal team explained that Dreamers won’t see any consequences as a result of this decision. 
Individuals who are currently receiving DACA’s benefits will continue receiving them, and can continue to renew their status every two years.
In fact, Polet Diaz elaborated on this issue, encouraging any former DACA recipient whose status has been expired for less than a year to visit her office so she can make them an appointment with our legal team.
Diaz says that the legal team is able to cover the fees of all DACA renewal applications and will provide their services free of charge.
Diaz also encouraged any interested students attend the Undocu Day of Action.  Kickoff will take place on the quad on October 18th, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  The event will feature a picnic, an art exhibit, and an informative talk from DACA’s Immigration Legal Services Team. 
Diaz wants to advocate for the needs of Stan State’s students and wants students’ voices represented.
Therefore, anybody willing to speak and share their concerns and how the university can be better support them is welcome to.

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DACA Ruling Heightens Anxieties of Undocumented Students