Cuesta students wait for a DACA event to start weeks after Trump’s announcement of its cancellation.
Photo by Alexander Bissell/Photo and Video Editor/ Cuestonian
By Stephen Kondor
Managing Editor of Content
Cuesta and city leaders have taken a strong stance in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in six months time.
Resounding support for DACA recipients has been shown around the country since Trump marked the popular program for death — as well as on Cuesta campus where students are fearful of what will happen.
“If they do take [DACA] away from us, we will lose our work permit and won’t be able to support our family,” said a 22-year-old undocumented Cuesta student, who requested anonymity because of the situation.
The Cuestonian recently reported that the campus expected to see a decline this semester in the college’s population of undocumented students — which was about 570 — due to fear from harsher immigration policies.
However, campus officials say the number may not be accurate and that they do not have current data.
“Students may not be reporting that they are undocumented because they are too afraid to report it,” said Mark Sanchez, vice president of Student Services.
Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a law that makes California a Sanctuary state.
Becoming a sanctuary state limits the cooperation law enforcement agencies are allowed to give the federal immigration authorities.
Cuesta officials say they have worked to promote awareness and make the campus feel inclusive and safe for those affected by Trump’s decision.
“There is a lot of support for me and other DACA recipients,” said the Cuesta student, who said he has not lived in Mexico since he was five and has no recollection of it.
While Cuesta students and officials wait for a final outcome, Trump has given Congress until March 5 to develop a solution.
The Cuesta student and his sister said they are remaining positive amid uncertainty.
“I’m optimistic that the White House will get something done,” he said.
Since Trump’s decision, attorney generals for four states — including California — have hit the president and his administration with a lawsuit, which claims that rescinding DACA violates the Fifth Amendment right to Due Process.
Congressman Salud Carbajal, who represents San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, has also spoken out in favor of DACA and the contributions recipients have made.
“We cannot afford to abandon DACA recipients,” Carbajal said. “Ending this program undermines our economic growth and competitiveness.”
Carbajal noted that it could ultimately cost $490 billion in lost gross domestic product over the next decade, as well as losing potential innovation and entrepreneurship.