On Friday, October 27 at Kerckhoff Patio from 12-3PM, the UCLA External Vice President’s Office (EVP) held a phone banking event, which is a political campaign where students can call their Senator or Congress Representative to express their support for, in this case, the continuation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and for the support of the 2017 DREAM Act.
UCLA has the largest number of undocumented students in the University of California system, and around 1,100 undocumented students study at UCLA and UC Berkeley combined.
DACA, signed by President Obama in June 2012, allowed undocumented immigrants, who had come to the U.S. as a minor and usually know no other home, to legally stay, work, and even receive an education in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
This was tremendous progress for the human rights and civil liberties of undocumented immigrants. Prior to the policy, undocumented immigrants were vulnerable to crimes such as violence and exploitation from employers because they feared that law reinforcements would report the undocumented immigrants for deportation instead of helping.
However, on September 2017, the Trump administration rescinded DACA, claiming that the way Obama installed the policy, which was by Executive Order, was an abuse of power and promised that the current administration will do things the “right way” by passing a bill through Congress.
October 5, 2017 was the last day for undocumented immigrants to renew their DACA and many now face a very uncertain future where they may lose their job, be detained, and even deported because there are no federal legislation that protects them after DACA expires. Moreover, economists commented that the rescission of DACA would actually harm the U.S. economy because most undocumented immigrants today are pursuing a higher education and actively working.
Julio Mendez, a 3rd year Political Science major and Legislative Advocate at the EVP Office, said that this phone banking event’s purpose is to keep the Trump administration accountable for its promise on passing the DREAM Act, which will grant undocumented immigrants “8 years of provisional residency and pathway to citizenship.”
There also will be phone banking events every Friday, from 12-3PM at Kerckhoff Patio. Each week will focus on a different state or federal legislative issue, including Title IX protections and immigration policies.
If you are an undocumented Bruin you can use this link to find more information and support from the university.
If you wish to support the rights of undocumented immigrants, you can call your Senator/Congress Representative or anyone listed here to state your support (sample script included) for the rights of undocumented immigrants.
Correction: It was previously stated that the phone banking event every week will focus on different immigration policies. However, the event focuses on a variety of issues such depending on what is occurring state or federal legislature. These corrections have been reflected in the article.