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EHS students talking about DACA impact

Students worry about their future

Pirateer Staff

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EHS students join hands in support of DACA

You could see a few of your fellow students disappear from your classrooms over the next few years. The worries are real among Englewood High school students watching the DACA debate unfold across the country. DACA is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

“It is terrible to be a child of an illegal immigrant,” an EHS senior said. We spoke to several EHS students who are protected under DACA. The Pirateer is protecting their identities because of the volatility of the situation.

A 15-year-old sophomore said she doesn’t like feeling afraid. She says it makes no sense, “I’m nervous because this could take me and my brother away and I really looked forward to going to college here.” To make sure nothing happens, she says, “we stay as far away from danger as possible and try to blend in with the rest of the people. I think this will affect a good amount of students here at Englewood because a lot of students will be deported and it will affect even legal people because Englewood is a big family.”

What Is DACA

According to the official website of the Department of Homeland Security, on June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.

The bottom line is, children of illegal immigrants, get some level of protection. President Trump wants to change that and Tuesday, September 5, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the orderly phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DHS will provide a limited, six-month window during which it will consider certain requests for DACA and applications for work authorization, under specific parameters.

Inside the halls of Englewood High school, there are a ton of questions:

Should children of illegal citizens keep protection?

What is the next move?

Students want to know why President Trump made this decision?

Why isn’t there a better path to citizenship?

How would you implement the changes?

The DACA change prompted walkouts from schools across Denver. According to 9 News, a group of students walked out of classes and up to the Auraria Campus. Many students were wearing backpacks and carrying signs with messages like ‘Defend DACA’ and ‘Our dreams can’t wait.’

A 17-year-old EHS Junior said she would be happy to see her family in Mexico, but she doesn’t want to put her life on hold in the U.S. because she is looking forward to traveling after graduation. A 16-year-old EHS Sophomore said he is really mad because it’s not fair to him or his family.

Experts say the program has given nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the country.

Congress has some time to find a legislative solution to replace the program.

Update (9/6/17): Englewood Schools Responds to DACA Decision

In response to yesterday’s announcement that President Trump will be phasing out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Englewood Schools would like our students and families to know that we remain committed to providing an environment where all students feel safe and have the opportunity to belong and thrive, regardless of their immigration status. The District does not collect any information whatsoever about student or family immigration status. Additionally, the US Supreme Court case, Plyler V. Doe, expressly prohibits the District from denying students the constitutional right to a free public education based upon their immigration status. The District is committed to upholding the current laws and practices, including the protection of students’ civil rights. In doing so, the District cannot and would not allow access to our students, families or records to anyone other than those authorized or required by law.

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EHS students talking about DACA impact