Superintendent Says to DACA, “All students are welcome”


Students leading a chant in Denver at a walkout in protest of Trump’s repeal of DACA. Courtesy of Melanie Asmar

Rachel Vigil, Editor-in-Chief

The legal status of 800,000 people in the United States, and 17,000 people living in Colorado is up in the air.

On Sept. 15, President Donald Trump’s administration announced that it would bring an end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. This program grants illegal immigrants who entered the country as minors the opportunity to receive a renewable two-year deferment of deportation, and eligibility for a work permit. It has benefited 800,000 people in the U.S.

In the state of Colorado, hundreds of students in Denver walked out of their classrooms in protest following the announcement. According to the Denver Post, about 17,000 students in Colorado benefit from DACA and now risk deportation.

In Jefferson county, superintendent Jason Glass issued a memo to be sent to principals. This memo stated that Jefferson County will continue its policy of not asking students their immigration status. Federal law requires this policy, but Glass made clear that, “All students are welcome, and no proof of legal status is required to attend our schools.” He also stated that the district is monitoring any federal action that might, “Limit the opportunities of youth and children in our community.”

The program has not immediately been cut, but is rather going to end in March 2018. Trump is leaving the fate of the program in Congress’s hands stating that they should do so, “in a manner that puts the hard working citizens of our country first.”

This action has been criticized by immigration advocates, former president Obama, former vice president Joe Biden, and many religious leader in the country, including evangelical pastor Tony Suarez, who served on Trump’s evangelical advisory board. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia are currently suing the Trump administration over this move, arguing that Trump has violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause by targeting a group that is almost 80 percent Mexican. They are citing his numerous disparaging statements toward Mexicans.

Both the results of the current litigation against the Trump administration and the decisions Congress makes on legislation in the following months will determine the future of these young immigrants. Schools will continue their policy of accepting all students and not enquiring about immigration status.