The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

St. Louis protests over DACA decision

A+crowd+gathers+outside+the+old+courthouse+to+protest+the+potential+overturning+of+DACA.
A crowd gathers outside the old courthouse to protest the potential overturning of DACA.

A crowd gathers outside the old courthouse to protest the potential overturning of DACA.

Lyndsey Barilier

Lyndsey Barilier

A crowd gathers outside the old courthouse to protest the potential overturning of DACA.

Savanah Seyer, Contributer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






On Tuesday, Sept. 5th, the world woke up to the news that President Donald Trump had ordered the repeal of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an immigration policy introduced by former President Obama that shields immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation.
DACA allows certain immigrants brought to the United States before their 16th birthday to work and live in the United States without fear of deportation. The policy currently protects nearly 800,000 people throughout the country. The administration announced that the reasoning behind the repeal of DACA was concern for the number of jobs being “denied to Americans by allowing illegal aliens to take them.”

At 7:00 p.m., in Keiner Plaza, in the shadow of the Old Courthouse and the St. Louis Arch, a group of dozens congregated. The rally included speakers, most prominently being Vivian Garcia Cruz, a local student who is directly affected by the repeal of DACA, as she is a “dreamer” herself. Cruz’s family moved to the United States from Mexico when she was three years old.

The rally was organized by local groups, including Latinos En Axion STL, a group working for migrant justice. Sara John, Saint Louis University alum, leader with the St. Louis Interfaith Community of Latin America and one of the event coordinators, said the planning and preparing for a response like the protest in Keiner Plaza began long before the announcement on Tuesday.

“We’ve been organizing for migrant justice for a long time. We have known since Trump was elected that things would get worse. Especially when it comes to DACA.” Said John. “We learned through a leaked memo that he was going to announce it today. The question has always been what’s next. Our communities, our families don’t have the option to say, ‘Okay’ and be done.”

The protest was attended by people of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations and religious/political beliefs. One large group of people present, however, seemed to be SLU students and alumni.

Thomas Graney-Dolan, a current junior at SLU, attended the protest with a sign that said simply, “Congress Show Compassion.”

“I came because I’m disgusted by the actions today by the Trump Administration, and I wanted to make my voice heard,” said Graney-Dolan. “[Congress needs to] save the dreamers who may not be legal citizens but who have lived here their entire lives.”

A large part of the protest and the work done by activist groups in St. Louis focuses on simply educating people on the issues. Taylor Robinson and Lohitha Guntupalli, juniors at Saint Louis University, said that they learned what DACA was truly all about through their friends.

“I had no idea what it was all about until I realized it seemed to be affecting my friends,” said Guntupalli. “Hearing their stories and the emotional turmoil they’re going through is heartbreaking.”

“I’m not personally impacted, but I have friends that really are and I’m here to show my support,” said Robinson. “It sucks when the people you sit next to in class don’t feel safe. It’s disappointing and very troubling that this administration doesn’t have enough respect to realize that these people belong here.”

Both girls said that it was important for students to become educated on the issues facing our country today.

“There’s not as much discussion [at SLU] as you would hope there would be,” said Guntupalli. “But if you look, there are people willing to have these conversations. There are clubs and floors in our residence halls willing to have these conversations. Reach out to your RAs, your professors [and] reach out to influential people on campus. We can get something started. As students, we have that power. Especially on a campus right in the heart of a city. It’s our duty to talk about these things.”

Robinson agreed, saying that students, and all people, need to “take it upon themselves to want to be educated.”

The protesters and SLU students at the rally all shared the hope that people everywhere would get involved and stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.

“I know that when we were at SLU we studied a lot about being a voice for the voiceless,” said Katie Langley. “That’s exactly what this is.”

Organizer Sara John said that for people who feel uneducated and powerless in this situation, the desire of wanting to help is a good starting point. John also said that there are countless opportunities for citizens to get involved.

“There’s my group IFCLA, Latinos En Axion St. Louis, social service providers and law firm clinics that are working on this community response to immigration and changing policy. Start conversations with other students at SLU, with clubs such as HALO and others. There are people here who are ready to show up,” said John. “Dignity has to come first,” she continued. “In our conversations about law and policy and all things. Until we focus on the dignity of all, we’re going to fall short.”

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • St. Louis protests over DACA decision

    News

    Trevor Noah Livestreams Honest Talk About Race

  • St. Louis protests over DACA decision

    News

    Hysteria Sparks Takei’s Activism

  • St. Louis protests over DACA decision

    News

    DPS: An Inside Look

  • St. Louis protests over DACA decision

    News

    SLU Contemplates Title IX Adjustments

  • St. Louis protests over DACA decision

    News

    Sexual Assault Allegations at SLU

  • St. Louis protests over DACA decision

    News

    Billiken Relief: SLU Students Raise Funds for Puerto Rico

  • St. Louis protests over DACA decision

    News

    SGA as a Voice for DACA Students

  • St. Louis protests over DACA decision

    Breaking News

    Reported Campus Sexual Assault Involving Students

  • St. Louis protests over DACA decision

    Features

    Moving Toward a Smooth Freshman Welcome

  • St. Louis protests over DACA decision

    News

    Revised, Not Forgotten

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University
St. Louis protests over DACA decision