After the initial shock and anger over the Trump administration’s proposal to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, MSU Denver’s DACA students find reasons to be optimistic.
The university has said it fully supports approximately 400 DACA students and has plenty of resources and tools to help students who qualify under the executive order.
“At the start, there was a lot of surprise,” said Joshua Gardner, President of MSU Denver’s Student Government Association of Trump’s announcement. “Just anger and outrage. Whereas now, it’s shifted to more determination to do something about the problem.”
Gardner said he feels and understands the struggles that some DACA students are experiencing. He and other student leaders want to make sure these students’ voices are heard, and said the SGA strives to advocate for DACA students on and off campus, including through the Colorado Student Government Coalition.
“We are actually represented in to the state legislature,” Gardner said. “If we get a co-sponsor with a state senator, we can actually push legislation ourselves.”
DACA recipients and undocumented students qualify for in-state tuition at MSU Denver. This is due to the Colorado Advancing Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow, which was signed in 2013. Colorado ASSET is a law written to help undocumented students get near in-state tuition for higher education.
Luis Sandoval, the associate director of the Excel program at MSU Denver, said now is the time for students to educate and advocate for themselves.
“DACA students should not be afraid to speak their minds and voice their concerns to our administration,” Sandoval said. “Our President, Dr. Davidson, has made it very clear that she intends to support our DACA and undocumented student populations.”
There are plenty of organizations on campus for undocumented and DACA students to contact. They offer plenty of services such as academic support, personalized tutoring for non-native English speakers and information for students on their rights concerning Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“Students are worried about their ability to legally work and reside in the US,” said Gregor Mieder, the coordinator of the Immigrant Services Program. “Since DACA students have spent almost their entire lives in the US, this represents a real threat to their home, families and the lives they have been living since they were children.”