Northwestern, ETHS students march for DACA, in solidarity with undocumented immigrants


Evan Robinson-Johnson/Daily Senior Staffer

The Multicultural Center. Students marched in support of the DACA program, standing with the undocumented community.

James Pollard, Assistant Campus Editor

Students from Northwestern and Evanston Township High School marched in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Friday, chanting “Up with the people, down with deportation” and “Home is here.”

They joined students and educators across the U.S., walking out to “to show support for, and stand in solidarity with the undocumented community,” according to the Facebook event page for the march, titled “Northwestern #HomeIsHere.”

In September 2017, President Donald Trump ordered an end to the Obama-era DACA program, which has protected an estimated 700,000 children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors from near-term deportation.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday to determine the future of the program.

Weinberg sophomore Teresa Vergara Miranda, co-founder and executive board member of Advancement for the Undocumented Community at Northwestern, said it is important to educate the Northwestern community about the role of DACA and the impact of the Nov. 12 hearing.

“The reason why DACA is still able to renew and (the reason) it’s even there to begin with is organizing,” she said. “Without (organized movement) then there is no work done.”

Advancement for the Undocumented Community at Northwestern hosted the march with Fuego, a Chicago-based network of youth working toward empowering and training new leaders to organize around racial, educational and LGBTQ justice. Students walked from The Rock to the Multicultural Center, holding a banner that said “MARCH FOR DACA AND TPS,” “HOME IS HERE,” and chanting phrases like “Up with education, down with deportation.”

Once inside the Multicultural Center, some students wrote to legislators and to the Supreme Court, expressing their support for DACA, which Miranda emphasized the importance of ahead of this week.

On Oct. 8, Northwestern joined an amicus brief with 18 other colleges and universities in defense of DACA. The brief argued that rescinding DACA would also deprive the country of the DACA students’ talents and contributions.

“The policy reversal places (DACA) students, many of whom these threats to DACA have silenced, in a position wholly at odds with the principles of academic freedom to which amici are fervently committed,” the brief wrote. “These students should not have to risk their own physical liberty — and that of their families — in order to tell their stories.

Weinberg senior Yurizet Villa said she wanted to communicate in her letters that humans should not be deemed “illegal” in the U.S. — there are reasons why people leave their home countries and those people are deserving of equal opportunities here, she said.

It’s important for allies, who have “the privilege of citizenship” to take extra efforts to be there for communities affected by the program, Villa said. She also emphasized that in addition to marches, letter writing is important.

“We can have as many marches as we want or as many campaigns,” Villa said. “But if we don’t do something to let our legislators know and to push for change, we really aren’t going to get anywhere.”

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Twitter: @pamesjollard