Several dozen Florida International University students walked out of classes and marched around campus Thursday calling for federal immigration reform.
Students called on Congress to pass a “clean” Dream Act, without attaching it to anti-immigration policies like a border wall. They also protested the Trump administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). That’s President Obama’s policy to suspend deportation for young people who came to the U.S. illegally as children.
Saúl A. — who withheld his full last name because he’s an undocumented immigrant from Mexico — led students in chanting “Say it loud, say it clear: Immigrants are welcomed here,” and “Undocumented! Unafraid!” He is a DACA recipient and an FIU senior who plans to graduate this semester with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
The 25-year-old said his mother brought him here when he was 3 because he had been diagnosed with anemia and she didn’t believe she could properly care for him in Mexico.
“So she made the brave decision to cross the border to be able to provide me a future,” he said.
Saúl said the group was also fighting for broader immigration reform to help all undocumented people. He worries his family will be separated, he said.
Every day when his brother, who is in fourth grade, goes to school, he’s not sure whether his mom will be there to pick him up because she lives in fear of deportation.
“She can't guarantee that to him,” Saúl said. “And that's something that millions of people across the country cannot do, despite their values.”