By Jessica Ryan ’19
People who imigrated illegally to the United States a a young age are now in a tense situation as they prepare for the hard-hitting order that President Trump has called on Congress to act upon. People protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, have been given an expiration date regarding the legal protections granted to those who came to the US illegally as children.
According to an NBC News article, Trump said that he is not going to cut off DACA, but instead provide a window of opportunity for Congress to act. Trump also said that DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals or are involved in criminal activity.
The DACA program helps provide students with the ability and opportunity to contribute to the American economy once they graduate high school.
An anonymous Gordon student, who has been helped by DACA, shares, “The program gave people opportunities to feel more American. And a part of the culture. The ability to work and make American money. It gave you a sense of independence, and felt like you were doing something with your life.”
Gordon continues to give unlimited support for these students on campus. As a community, Gordon seeks to uplift and stand in solidarity with those who are deeply affected by this motion.
To demonstrate this support, Gordon College held a March on September 8, to honor all the DACA students who will potentially be affected by this action.
There are about 8-10 DACA students at Gordon. This unexpected decision placed many people under severe stress. An anonymous DACA student who participated in the march says, “I feel numb about the whole situation. It’s like a waiting game. There’s not much to say or do. There’s not much to feel.”
The March started at the Clarendon Bell and was initiated by ALANA, (African American, Latin American, Asian American, Native American, and Allies). Heartfelt words were spoken by several students from the Gordon College community, and an opening prayer was shared before more than 50 students began the March. Jennifer Jukanovich, Vice President of Student Life, was in attendance.
“I was very moved by the spirit of prayer and reading of scripture that covered ALANA’s march,” Jukanovich shares, “and was thankful to our students who courageously shared their stories.”
“Gordon College is grateful for what these DACA students contribute to our student body, to the greater church, and to the world.” Jukanovich continues, “We are very appreciative to the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities for advocating on behalf of our students. To join over 50 students as they literally went to their knees in prayer for their fellow students was something I will never forget.”