Carl Hintz | Correspondent
On Wednesday, November 30 members of student government will introduce legislation to support undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students at NC State.
The student government meeting will take place at 7:30 pm in the Student Senate Chambers on the fourth floor of Talley Student Union. The proposed legislation is titled “An Act to Provide Support For Undocumented Students and Students that are Participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program.”
Belton Moore, the corresponding sponsor of the bill said that, “it is our responsibility to do our part to support the students that are affected by potential changes in policy that could be very detrimental.”
The legislation comes on the heels of the election of Donald Trump, who has threatened mass deportations of undocumented immigrants and who has threatened to repeal DACA.
Didier Turcios, president of Mi Familia, said “I want people to know that our fellow classmates do not feel safe at NC State. And as part of the Wolfpack family, we need to come together and help make our family feel safe.”
The legislation requests that university leadership issue a statement in support of undocumented and DACA students and expand legal services provided to undocumented students if needed. The legislation also requests that the university leadership establish a practice so that the university does not release information regarding citizenship status. It also requests that the university does not work with immigration authorities in the case of raids and deportations, and that the University Police Department refrains from inquiring about students’ citizenship status.
“This legislation isn’t a ‘fix all’ type of thing. It will not fix all the problems that derived from the election, but it is a step forward,” Turcios said.
The issue of immigration and the treatment of people who are undocumented has become politicized. From 2009 to 2015, the Obama administration deported 2.5 million people. In 2015 North Carolina’s majority Republican legislature passed legislation to ban sanctuary cities. In addition to facing the threat of deportation, students at NC State who are undocumented pay out-of-state tuition and do not receive state or federal aid.
Many view the way undocumented immigrants are treated as not a partisan issue but as an ethical issue. Ryan Dunn, a sponsoring senator for the proposed legislation said that “There comes a point where this isn’t just about Democrat or Republican, it’s about what is right.”
Usually, legislation is submitted for a first reading and is then sent to the relevant committee, but in this case, the legislation will be fast tracked. This means there will be public comment followed by debate and then the bill will be voted on by the Senate. “The legislation was fast tracked because of the need to make sure the student voice is heard when the administration considers these issues going forward,” said Moore.
A number of public universities, including Arizona State University, Oregon State University, California State University and Portland State University, have already taken steps to support undocumented and DACA students.
“Students can contact the senators from their college and encourage them to vote for this resolution,” said Moore. “We hope that the University will take action on all of the items listed on the resolution.”