When division in Washington was at an all time high after Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for congress to phase out DACA, at a press conference on Tuesday morning, Brooklyn College faculty and students stood in solidarity on the quad with signs and leaflets that marked the season’s first display of resistance to the Trump agenda.
Students who passed the Brooklyn College Library on Tuesday at noon were greeted by at least twenty-five faculty members of The Brooklyn College Faculty and Staff Resist. Here, BC Faculty and Staff Resist, a campus-led activist group, which began last November after the election of Donald Trump, continued its initiative to protect and inform CUNY students and maintain diversity and equality on campus.
Over the Labor Day Weekend the trump administration announced plans to terminate DACA, a program that allows undocumented students to attend college. About an hour after Session’s announcement, BC faculty took to the West quad to protest.
“It was important to be immediate to show our support for DACA students,” said David Bloomfield, an education law professor, in an interview.
“Immigrants welcome” posters in the Spring semester reappeared for Tuesday’s protest accompanied by “know your rights,” “save DACA,” and “immigrants are here to stay.”
“We had a big sign that said DACA, and people said “what’s DACA?” many CUNY students didn’t know what it was,” Bloomfield said. Faculty distributed handouts and advised students to be aware of immigrant-related law and current events, especially as pertaining to their own status.
Dozens of leaflets, posters, and markers, were left on the table when faculty returned to their classes and office hours. Students took it upon themselves to hold posters and continue the protest after the faculty was long gone.
One student, Jeremy Wein, held a poster that said “Trump is a coward, we are dreamers,” for an hour in front of the library.
Mr Wein, a TV/Radio major, did not participate in activities in West Quad during the protest.
“I saw the nonsense Greek life event and I felt a contextual dissonance when we’re talking about sending 800,000 people away.”
DACA, enacted under executive order in 2012, used prosecutorial discretion of the executive branch to issue protection for children, who through no fault of their own, entered the country with their parents illegally.
While the Trump Administration did not revoke Obama’s DACA protections last Tuesday, applications for renewal will no longer be accepted after October 5th, and the final decisions of its future was left to a republican-majority congress.
“I don’t think that people realize that someone sitting next to them in class could be impacted by this,” Wein said.
CUNY staff and administrators were concerned about the uncertain future of DACA members. CUNY advises that students unsure of their immigration status contact and consult the free legal service offered on the Citizenship Now website.