The faculty and staff of the Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Program welcome the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. We also commend Chancellor Blank for her statement on the case. The news comes at a time when the University and the country as a whole are facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the recession it has caused, and a social uprising sparked by police violence against African Americans.
We invite those who are grappling with feelings of uncertainty in the face of these crises to reflect for a moment on the uncertainty that DACA recipients and their families have been feeling since at least 2017. We also invite members of the University community to appreciate the hard grassroots work that led to the creation of DACA, and that has certainly contributed to this legal victory.
As a Program, we see the everyday struggles DACAmented students undergo at the UW. These students are not eligible for financial aid or in-state tuition, even though many have lived in Wisconsin for the majority of their lives. Besides being exceptional scholars and leaders, they take on additional responsibilities while pursuing their educational and professional goals. DACAmented students often work multiple jobs, apply to external funding, and raise funds for scholarships to pay for their studies. They lead campus and community efforts to advocate for immigrant rights, educate the community about these issues, and work for comprehensive immigration reform with a wide path to citizenship for the millions who currently live in the shadows of our country.
We are proud to stand beside our students and proud of what we can do to support them as they seek more secure futures for all of us. For now, many DACAmented individuals and their loved ones can breathe a little easier. There’s a long road ahead. Let’s hope this decision is a sign of the direction we’re headed.
Mary Louise Gomez
Marla Ramírez Tahuado
Alma Sida Ontiveros