DACA was Important

By: JaMarlin Fowler


The opportunity to have a better tomorrow is the hope that pushes many individuals to get up and continue along when they want to give up. We see the struggles of this on television every day with the highlighted horrors put on replay for us to consume on multiple different platforms.

We as a country have seen hatred and bigotry show up in places that some believed no longer existed. Hope is something this country has thrived on for years. Hope is what gives the minorities and displaced populations belief that if they just keep going they will make it for themselves and for their families.

DACA was a symbol of that. I gave a presentation on DACA (en español) during one of my classes while attending UCI. I had the opportunity to learn side by side with heritage speaking students that were understandably emotional Fall Quarter dealing with the ramifications of Election Night 2016.

Taking away DACA is taking away hope for not only the ones receiving the deferred action, but for those connected to them. It’s erasing the sacrifices that their parents made for them, some of whom before those children were even conscious of those choices.

Going to a school that graduates first generation college students in respectable numbers, UCI is a community that is home to students that are either on DACA or have family or friends on DACA. Human lives are not a political game, yet platforms are built off of demonizing others.

Removing DACA has the potential of creating growing amounts of nihilism in Hispanic communities, just as Jim Crow and other laws did to set back the “rights” afforded to African Americans in the 1900s. “What’s the use in trying if everybody is against me and nothing is going to change anyway” is the message rhetoric like this brings.

I talked with some former students about what mainstream is in today’s America. My belief is that mainstream now is the ability to function successfully within society without the need to demonize others in order to create self value.

Being mainstream is being American, and we have seemed to have lost our course.

DACA recipients were law abiding, innocent individuals caught up in a complex, immigration system that is not easily navigatable without an education or mentorship from people that have been there.