CMU Student Groups Stand Together at Campus DACA Rally

Photos by Xavier-Thomas Mendoza.
Quotes gathered by Clarissa Kell.

Among rain and shine, they stood together united in one dream.

Students, staff and family members gathered at Fabiano Gardens yesterday to show support for the DACA program, each with a reason for attending.

I am here to show my support for Dreamers and to learn a little bit more about DACA and to know how I can help. I think it is crucial for CMU to come out and show support for our community, for our students.”
-Ashleigh Laho, Organization of Women Leaders President, 20, Wyandotte, MI.
“The purpose of our rally was to bring awareness to what exactly DACA is, which is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that was established by our President Barack Obama in 2012.
Most recently, Trump’s administration began threatening (DACA). I have a few quotes from the President of the U.S., as of right now, in May 2015 he said, ‘As long as I am President, no one is going to be coming over here.’ And in May 2016, at a press conference, he said, ‘In the first 100 days I will be unwinding various executive orders, DACA included.’”
-Tiffany Nguyen, Asian Cultural Organization President, Wyandotte, MI.
“I’m really concerned about those kids. I chose, I am an immigrant myself, I chose to come here when I was 16 years old. That was very hard for me, that is hard to hide, to just be able to survive. We just come here to work, we don’t come here to take anything away. But when you bring your kids, I get it, I came here with my brothers. The thing is, to come here is to make a better life, not to come and destroy or take something away from somebody else. We don’t take jobs away from anyone, we just come to provide for ourselves to have a better life. Because in my country, it is very bad. Those kids grow up here, they don’t know it is dangerous for them, that as soon as they cross the border they are going to kill them. They don’t know, they are just like you guys. Those kids are so innocent, they don’t know. They don’t even speak the language. They are America. They are supposed to be here.
I don’t want Trump to just kick anybody out, that destroys families. I came here because my mother died when I was very young, I was 11 years old. I tried to live with my grandma, my grandma was an American citizen, she didn’t know how she could have brought us here with no problem, but she didn’t do it. Maybe she was ignorant. The point is, let’s strike, let’s fight, let us be the voice for those kids. They want to stay here, they don’t have to run like me. That was dangerous, I was walking alone. I don’t want any kids walking alone. We come here to be a life, to be a better people. I raised two girls here, I married, I’m married to an American man, I have the American Dream. And I want everybody, anybody here to have the American Dream. My kids are American citizens, they don’t have to go through that but I don’t want any kids to go through it. We can’t just think of ourselves, we have to think about others. Please be the voice, stand up for those kids. I don’t know how many kids we have here in Central, but we have to try to support them, and try to hide them, so they don’t get taken away.”
-Luz Vera Smith, Alma, MI. Smith’s daughter, Jackie Smith, attends CMU and is the Vice President of College Democrats at CMU.
“If it wasn’t for my family coming over and taking that step, I wouldn’t be here today doing the things I am. And I think that these kids, whose parents also came here, just because of the time they were born, in a different country, doesn’t make them any less of an American or make them have any less of a right to have the same opportunities that I do. We come from the same historical region, but we all deserve to be doing these things. These people have been here for so long and have already started building their families and going to school, to have that taken away and go back to a place that they never grew up in. They might not even know the language. It is crazy and it is hard because I have a friend who is a DACA recipient and she is doing so many great things out here, it is hard to see all of the potential she has to be doing in her future, what she is already done and then what she can be doing, and to just see that be ripped away. It is just really hard to see that. That is why these things are awesome, to educate people. Because a lot of people don’t know what DACA is and just making people aware of it is important. These people are not just numbers, people need to see them as individuals. These are actual people, living actual lives.” -Cassy Villanueva, Vice President of Empowered Latino Union, 22, Bay City, MI.

“I am here to support DACA. That is important to me because my grandparents are immigrants, so I have very close ties to immigrants and I just feel like it is a necessary thing. And it is very American, I feel, to have immigrants and accepting them. So it is very close to home.”
-Romualdo Ancog, Asian Cultural Organization member, 19, Birmingham, MI.
“The president is literally threatening, not only 600,000 families in the U.S. but also the individuals. That is not counting the families that will be ripped apart, that’s not even counting our communities that they already rich with their businesses, with their labor, with everything they’re involved with. These people have been here for years and if this gets revoked in any kind of way (DACA), all of their work visas will be inactive and they will be deported immediately. It is not a very small problem, like everyone needs to know about this and that is why we are here. We are here to tell people, to show people that we support all of the DACA recipients and all the children of immigrants that will come after this. This is what we can start with and I am really appreciative of everybody that is out here.”
-Saceila Gonzalez, Vice President of Black Lives Matter, 22, Detroit, MI.