Cuesta staff member working with an undocumented student from Colombia.
Photo by Alexander Bissell
By Stephen Kondor
Managing Editor of Content
President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he would be rescinding the DACA program, causing great concern for leaders of the state’s community college system, Cuesta’s officials and its undocumented students.
In a strongly worded statement, Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley said, “Ending DACA is a heartless and senseless decision that goes against American ideals and basic human decency.
“In California, we don’t put dreams – or Dreamers – on hold,” said Oakley, the leader of the state’s 114 community colleges.
The DACA program, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was originally signed into law by President Barack Obama to allow children of undocumented immigrants to attend college and hold down jobs. The repealing of this law has been a mainstay of Trump’s campaign since his candidacy. Now, these students face possible deportation.
“Cuesta College denounces President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program,” said Mark Sanchez, Cuesta’s assistant superintendent and vice president of student services.
“The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects 800,000 immigrant youth from deportation and gives them freedom to work and live life,” Sanchez said in a prepared statement released Tuesday.
“They are in school, and working hard,” he said. “They are our friends, our classmates, our co-workers and neighbors. They are Cuesta College students.”
Campus officials said they will be working in the coming days to determine how they can best support students this may affect.
“Cuesta College remains an inclusive institution committed to creating a welcoming and supportive classroom and campus environment,” Sanchez said. “We will continue to support all of our students to achieve their dreams and honor their diverse backgrounds and perspectives.”
The results from Trump’s decision is still unclear.
News reports indicate Trump, will not be enforcing the deportations of those protected under the DACA. Instead, it will be up to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to prioritize deportation to those who have criminal records, enter the U.S. illegally and people with final orders of removal.
ICE officers who encounter former DACA recipients in the field will be making judgement calls, however they will not be specifically targeted, news reports indicate.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will no longer be processing new applicants, reports state, adding that Trump is putting pressure on Congress by giving them a 60-day deadline to develop a solution to DACA.
The administration did, however announce a plan to continue renewing permits for anyone whose status expires within the next six months to allow time for Congress to come up with a plan.
DACA’s official date of closure is March 5, 2018.