President Trump has decided to push for an end to DACA.
San Diego County pushed back.
More than 1,000 supporters of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals order rallied outside the San Diego County Administration Building as the sun set on the horizon and DACA was sunset by Trump. DACA recipients stood before the crowd with compelling personal testimonies and examples that showed why the program is essential to America.
DACA recipient and immigration attorney Dulce Garcia said the message delivered by Attorney General Jeff Sessions was cruel, un-American and a serious political miscalculation.
“We are unafraid and we’re here to stay,” she said. “We’re not going to forget your attack on us today.”
SWC student Arantxa Calles said targeting innocent young Latinos who are productive members of American society is a symptom of a corrupt system based on racism.
“The point of cutting DACA is to build an environment of fear so (vulnerable Latinos) can be further exploited,” Calles said. “Like my favorite chant says, we didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.”
College graduate Jesus Mendez, 24, admitted to being nervous.
“I don’t know what will happen to my work permit if it expires after the repeal,” he said.
He encouraged other DACA recipients to stand strong and stick together.
“Don’t isolate,” Mendez said. “I can understand the pressure, but we can get through this.”
Aerospace engineer Irving Uriel Hernandez de la Torre said he is a DREAMER because his family sacrificed everything. The Trump administration, he said, is dehumanizing his parents.
“This announcement is only the beginning,” he said. “Today set us back many steps to the few that have been gained.”
Hernandez de la Torre and the crowd began chanting “si su puede,” as the audience’s fists raised with solidarity in the air.
Southwestern College’s Governing Board and President Dr. Kindred Murillo attended the rally. Governing Board President Tim Nader said college leadership enthusiastically supports DACA students and will not submit to the Trump administration if it authorized illegal immigration raids on campus.
“We will not cooperate with any registries based on factors like religion, ethnicity or immigration status,” said Nader. “We will scrutinously follow the law, which I don’t think this administration is doing.”
Trustee Norma Hernandez agreed.
“We’ve taken a strong stance,” she said. “We want to support our students. We want to be advocates and strong activists wherever we can.”
Calles said turning people away from a global superpower is a testament to how small-minded and cruel the government is right now.
“800,000 human beings woke up to news that their lives, dreams, their piece of mind and safety are all insignificant in the face of oppression,” they said. “That’s simply not the justice and liberty America preaches.”