ISG supports DACA students through passing a resolution
October 19, 2017
The fate of undocumented students all over the U.S. is uncertain, but the Illinois Student Government says it wants to provide support in any way it can.
ISG and the executive department said they wanted to focus on many different levels when dealing with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: student, administration, state and federal levels said Chief of Staff Spencer Haydary, senior in LAS.
“We focused on calling upon the administration to do several different initiatives, and we also tried to get some undocumented ally training for student government members,” Haydary said. “(We) pressured the UIUC administration to provide mental health resources for DACA recipients. Their lives are in jeopardy at this point. They are uncertain of what the future is going to be.”
Speaker of the Senate Sam LeRoy, senior in Business, said the resolution discussed if ISG should pursue financial aid for students affected and provide support to La Casa Cultural Latina in helping these students.
La Casa is holding ally training sessions for faculty and staff on how to help students affected by DACA. La Casa has opened up the fall training session to ISG members for them to better understand how to help undocumented students, said Haydary and LeRoy.
Rahul Raju, senior in Engineering, was one of the sponsors of the resolution and is continuing to stay involved while the executive branch executes the bill.
“(The DACA repeal) caused a lot of real genuine anxiety issues and raised a lot of genuine concerns among the people who are affected,” Raju said. “I think it highlights just how powerful the stroke of a pen can be and how much that can mean to a lot of people.”
At the state level, ISG is calling Illinois state representatives to support Student Access Bill. This will allow undocumented students to apply for financial aid, said Haydary.
At the federal level, ISG said they call upon Illinois representatives to support the Bridge Act to help undocumented students receive the education they deserve.
The Bridge Act allows people who received work authorization and temporary relief for deportation through DACA to remain in the U.S., according to the National Immigration Law Center website.
Haydary said there is a strong collaboration within the senate itself and with the students to support the resolution. He said he believes this is a landmark piece of legislation and is very happy with how it turned out.
LeRoy said he is excited that ISG is pushing this response through.
“I just hope that we can be a model for this country to follow and recognizing that where a person is born does not decide their aptitude,” LeRoy said. “It does not decide how good of a community steward they are, and it should not determine what kind of educational experience they should or should not be able to have.”
The senate wants to help not only current students, but future students as well, LeRoy said.
“We want to make sure that students that are enrolled in this University can continue to have the full educational and social experience everyone should be able to enjoy here,” LeRoy said.
Raju said the senate is backing and providing support for the students that are affected by the repeal of DACA, and those students affected are leading the effort.
“It was really the undocumented students who pushed the effort through; they are the leading edge of the effort,” Raju said.