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The Cougar Chronicle

Students walk out for Clean Dream Act

Tyler Abrahams, Assistant News Editor

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Individuals dressed in salmon colored shirts and carrying bright posters gathered in front of Markstein Hall shouting rally cries, “We want justice! You say how? Pass the Clean Dream Act now!”

On Nov. 9 at noon, the walkout to raise awareness for a clean dream act that supports undocumented students was underway.

The San Diego Dream Team organized the walkout at CSUSM where students from different campuses such as SDSU, University of San Diego, Palomar College, San Diego Mesa Community College, Vista High School and San Dieguito Academy joined the protest.

The protesters walked from Markstein Hall, down the staircase outside the Arts building, to the front of the Kellogg Library.

Angelica Pena
Students hold up their signs and walk down the stairs of the Arts Building to the beat of a protesters drum.

Walking down the stairs of the Arts building the crowd met with camera crews that followed the group as they repetitively chanted, “Undocumented! Unafraid!”

On Sep. 5 the Trump Administration announced it was rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was implemented in 2012. Trump called for Congress to create an immigration act. That same day he tweeted, “Congress, get ready to do your job—DACA.”

Angelica Pena
Activist protesters chant in unison as they make their way towards Kellogg Library.

Angelica Pena
Protesters hold up signs and begin to form a circle in front of Kellogg library where they wait for wait for speakers to rally up the crowd.

The group formed a circle, once the rally reached Kellogg Plaza. They passed the megaphone to several students who gave their testimonies.

Irene Ramirez, a criminal justice major and a DACA recipient, called for Congress to pass a Clean Dream Act so that she didn’t have to live in fear of deportation. She spoke about how attending school would become a risk without her DACA status.

Betsy Garcia, another DACA student, spoke about her family’s struggles. Her father had been deported; her stepsister doesn’t qualify for DACA, but dreams of going to college to become a doctor. Garcia called for the community to stick together because together they are powerful.

Another chant began, “When our community is under attack, what do we do? Unite, fight back!”

A protester leads the crowd and holds up their megaphone in between reciting chants for the crowd.

Anna Hernández, a DACA student at SDSU, called for the Clean Dream Act. She urged the community to unite against fear. She spoke to those who are afraid and said, “Stay strong, papers don’t define us.”

Angelica Pena
Raina Heggenberger and Jenny Johnson hold up their posters in display of solidarity for a “clean DREAM Act.”

Protesters listen and cheer on the student speaker who is moved to tears as she shares her experience as an undocumented student.

Juan Menjivar, a math major from San Diego Mesa College, Mesa College’s president of The Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education (RISE) chapter and DACA recipient spoke about how his mother fled Mexico due to extreme poverty.

At age two and a half, he arrived in the U.S. before his mother. He said, “There was a point in my life where I didn’t even know who my own mother was.” He said, “we will get the Clean Dream Act passed. We will do it for ourselves, we will do it for our families and we will do it for the future generations.”

Angelica Pena
Protestors hold up signs while the news cameras roll and while the student speakers share their ties with the undocumented community.

More information about the San Diego Dream Team can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SdDreamTeam/ and on Twitter https://twitter.com/SD_DreamTeam.

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