President Donald Trump upended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program last week, leaving 800,000 DACA recipients across the country facing a future of uncertainty. In the days following, 16 state attorneys general, including California’s Xavier Becerra, sued the Trump administration over its decision, while 10 others championed this xenophobic and misguided decision as a victory.
Meanwhile, student leaders at UC Santa Cruz took action immediately. Understanding the fiscal burden of renewing one’s DACA application, students from several Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR)/Student Media/Cultural Arts and Diversity (SOMeCA) organizations, including Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán, Enviroslug and Engaging Education, initiated a campaign to raise $5,000 by Sept. 21 to help undocumented UCSC students renew their DACA statuses before the program dissolves completely.
We, at City on a Hill Press, call on all current students, alumni, faculty and staff to donate to this emergency fund campaign. While it may not be a permanent solution, a DACA renewal can give recipients two more years with a work permit, protection from deportation and access to institutional and state financial aid awards.
The campaign, titled “Education, Not Deportation: Raising Funds For UCSC Slugs” began on Sept. 11 and will help UCSC DACA recipients pay the $495 renewal fee necessary to maintain DACA status. Applicants will receive funding based on level of financial need and be reviewed by a discrete panel including students, alumni and a SOAR adviser.
While the UC system provides access to an undocumented legal services program and recently released commitments to DACA recipients such as continued in-state tuition and access to certain financial aid even after DACA ends, we must provide as much support as possible. By donating money to a non-university affiliated account controlled by student leaders, the funds can be distributed fairly without bureaucratic barriers required by UC administrative accounting.
In a time of national political divisiveness, increased hate crimes and relentless attacks on civil rights coming directly from the White House, we as students need to show that we support one another and are willing to offer both moral and financial support to ensure everyone is able to continue their education at this university.
We can’t change Trump’s decision to rescind the DACA program, but we, the UCSC community, can decide how to respond to this senseless injustice. Donate to this emergency fund so as many students as possible can renew their DACA applications before the chance is permanently lost.
For those interested in donating, please visit : https://www.youcaring.com/ucscdacarecipients-945979
For those interested in applying, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “Renewal Application,” and include the following information: your first and last name, income and explanation of how much, if any of the fees you can afford to spend on your own, work permit/DACA expiration date and contact information