By: Tohko Nohara ‘18
On Feb. 28, Gordon College Student Association (GCSA) hosted a training for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. Though only a few DACA students are enrolled in the College, the Office of Student Life and GCSA hosted the event in order to inform students about the ongoing immigration issues. Founder and Executive Director of Agencia Alpha Patricia Sobalvarro spoke at the event.
Agencia Alpha is a grassroots, nonprofit organization based in Boston, MA. bent on improving the lives of the mostly Hispanic immigrant communities. The organization’s services include visa, employment authorization and green card application assistance. Agencia Alpha is a member of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. The organization works closely with Lion of Judah Congregational Church in Boston.
Anna Carolina Arujo ’18, an attendee of the event, comes from a family of immigrants. “I came to this country when I was four. My dad came first. Because my mom was a skilled worker, she was able to get her green card,” she said. Though she is not a DACA recipient, she knows at least one relative eligible for the DACA policy.
DACA is not a path to a permanent residence. It is a temporary deportation and relief system, giving work authorization to immigrants with some restricted travel rights. It is an executive order renewable every two.
Referencing the event, student Gwendolin Bellamy ‘17 said, “I was impressed by their ability to present so much information clearly.”
Sobalvarro said the need of border control and the national security at the end of the presentation is absolutely necessary. However at the same time, she depicted the uncertainty and fear of the undocumented residents as an excruciating situation. In her presentation, Sobalvarro demonstrated how the deportation net has expanded and the future of DACA program remains uncertain at this point.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President Lindsay sent a campus wide email to both faculty and students. It read, “We will work to ensure our current DACA students can pursue their studies without interruption.” The DACA Training Event is the second event that is related to DACA policy this semester, following the event “A Faculty Panel on DACA and other immigration matters” hosted by ALANA on Feb 20.
For more information, you can visit their website at: http://www.agenciaalpha.org/