Club Latino hosts DACA forum

Club Latino hosted a DACA forum on campus. The forum focused on what Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) recipients can expect, and what steps they proceed with in the upcoming months. The Trump Administration recently rescinded the DACA program, a decision that affects many students on the Southwest Minnesota State University campus and many members of the Marshall, MN community.

The forum featured important special guests Navigate MN, Asamblea de Derechos Civiles and Attorney Jorge Saavedra. Navigate MN is a leadership program for immigrant youth. Asamblea de Derechos Civiles is a statewide, nonprofit organization that works to help the Latino community and works to change the immigration system. Attorney Jorge Saavedra is the founder of Saavedra Law Firm PLLC which specializes in immigration, business and family law.

The DACA forum was open to the community, and many members of Marshall and surrounding towns attended. The attending participants shared stories, personal accounts and concerns. The forum also focused on what legal action DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants should do in the upcoming months before the DACA program ends.

Emilia Gonzalez Avalos from Navigate MN explained that it isn’t only Latinos affected by DACA. Africans and Asians were also benefiting from the DACA program. She stated that the fastest growing immigrant group in the US is Asians. Avalos considers this DACA revokement to be a multi-racial issue.

Attorney Jorge Saavedra explained that the immigration priority changed on January 25, 2017. President Trump signed an executive order that results in any crime committed, even minor crimes, putting undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation. Attorney Saavedra recommends that anyone detained by law enforcement properly identify yourself, but to not provide any additional information without first speaking with an attorney.

All guest speakers at the forum recommend that people contact their representatives and call for a simpler immigration system. The speakers encourage people and communities to come together and get involved on this issue. Minnesota’s Congressman is Collin Peterson, someone the speakers recommend calling and informing him of various immigration views so that he can properly represent Minnesota.

The speakers stressed that it’s important for the whole community to come together on this issue. They encouraged undocumented immigrants and those affected by the rescinding of DACA to organize as a community and to work towards changing the immigration process.