DACA Controversy


Ken Allard

Glendale Community College students and faculty members gather in the school’s central quad to protest Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA.

Glendale Community College students and faculty members organized Sept. 5 to protest President Donald Trump’s recent announcements in favor of ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This Obama-era executive order shielded young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

“Let it be very clear, the DACA announcement changes nothing at Glendale Community College,” said Dr. Viar, president/superintendent of the college. “GCC remains committed to serving a diverse population of students by providing opportunities and support to achieve their educational and career goals.”

President Trump has since suggested he will be deferring to Congress.

“DACA has been the reason I am able to work ‘legally,’ as in not having to worry about the workplace getting raided for immigration and getting deported,” said Yeni Molina, 23, a Glendale resident. “It provided me with the ability to get a job to provide more for my family.”

Former President Barack Obama enacted the DACA policy in June 2012. The program allows immigrants who entered the United States as minors to receive eligibility for a work permit and a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation.

In 2017, over 800,000 people were enrolled in the program. Some research suggests that DACA has boosted the mental health outcomes and lowered the number of unauthorized immigrant households living in poverty for DACA-eligible individuals.

“I don’t know anything else besides my life here,” said Molina. “I have been here since I was six. I went to school here all my life. I started kindergarten here and I graduated here. I have two jobs and work very hard to put food, shelter, necessities and clothes on my family. I abide by the law and I pay taxes. Nothing is handed to me.”

President Trump said he plans to revisit his administration’s decision if Congress is unable to pass legislation on the issue within the six-month deadline.

GCC’s afternoon protest was one of many that took place earlier this month. Rallies were held in several Southern California cities, including Los Angeles and Long Beach, in which hundreds of protesters rallied in support of DACA recipients.