ST. CLOUD, MN – Policy concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has been a hot-button topic for the country over the last few months. With protests and rallies taking place everywhere from San Antonio, Texas to Washington, D.C. and all the way back to here at home in Minneapolis, understanding just what all the fuss is about can be difficult.
Associate Vice President of the Center of International Students and Multicultural Services, Shahzad Ahmad, said “It’s such a difficult thing to understand the full impact of this program… both good and bad.” Many people agree with Ahmed, including a group of organizations and departments from the St. Cloud State University campus that have come together to create a programming that can help build the bridge from policy to people.
The groups put together multiple presentations, speakers, and documentary’s to make “Immigration Series.” These are programming that is meant to help put a face to the DACA policy. The organizations working together include: SCSU’s Multicultural Resource Center, Asamblea Derechos Civiles, Community Anti-Racism Education initiative, SCTCC, FREC, and the SCSU Faculty Research Group on Immigration in Minnesota.
The first of the multiple presentations will take place tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. in the Atwood Memorial Building Theatre, where Andre Perre will present his award winning documentary, “Without Papers.” Monica Garcia-Perez, an associate economics professor at SCSU & one of the sponsors of the programming, said, “The idea is not just talking about the immigration law per se, but putting a human face to what a Dreamer is, who is a Dreamer, and what do they do. “
The organizations say they are taking on a challenge to those who are affected by DACA’s stories and help the community understand that it is more than just a policy and law, but also a person’s life.
Ms. Garcia-Perez stressed that they are more than just their immigration status, and that many people who are affected by this are near us every day. Mr. Ahmad said, “They may be our peers who are in our classrooms, they may be at the work place… you know, they are contributing to the society in many different ways.”
At the end of the day Ms. Garcia-Perez says, “I’m hoping that the way, and the spaces that were providing and how we are providing them are allowing people to talk in a respectful way, no matter what their opinions are.”