ASU students march in support of DACA students

United Students for Education Equity hosted a march calling for the DREAM act to pass

ASU club United Students for Education Equity marched in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival students Thursday, pushing for a “clean DREAM act” and protesting Attorney General Mark Brnovich's lawsuit against Arizona Board Of Regents.

The lawsuit, filled on Sept. 9, claimed that ABOR has “dramatically and unconstitutionally” increased tuition costs, violating an Arizona constitutional mandate that in-state tuition be “as free as possible.” 

Brnovich in his complaint wrote that offering in-state tuition to DACA students "risks triggering a federal law that would forfeit Arizona's ability to provide discounted in-state tuition to any of its residents." 

President Donald Trump on Sept. 5 announced the rollback of DACA, an Obama-era program that protected 790,000 people brought here as young children from deportation. Roughly 28,000 DACA recipients live in Arizona, and around 260 currently attend the University. 

ASU students have been active in the fight for DACA recipients. Last week USEE held a phone bank where students called their senators urging them to fight for a “clean DREAM act.” 

Last month, students held an event asking students to “write their senators” in order to support DACA students. 

At Thursday's event, students held signs that said “shame on you Mr. Brnovich” and “Drop it like it's hot,” referring to the pending lawsuit against ABOR. 

Ethan Buhrow, a political science freshman, said he went to the rally to stand up for the rights of ASU's DACA recipients. He said that allies play an important role in supporting the DACA students. 

"Without people like me who aren't directly affected by it standing up with them, to leave them out there by themselves, they feel powerless," Buhrow said.

Political science senior Belen Sisa said DACA recipients are being forced to compromise when looking at proposed legislation. Sisa said the cost for DACA students' protection is putting their families and community as risk because it excludes them from a pathway to citizenship.  

Sisa also said Brnovich’s lawsuit attempts to turn ASU students against DACA recipients by blaming them for the rise in tuition hikes.

“The bill that we are supporting specifically is the one presented by Sen. Graham and Sen. Durbin, which is the best version of the DREAM act that we have seen.”

At the front of the march, students carried a written declaration of demands. 

“We the students of Arizona in order to form a more equitable education system, establish equality, insure justice, provide an opportunity, and promote the general welfare do ordain and establish this constitution for ourselves,” the list states. 

The written declaration included provisions on education, equality, unity and safety. 

Students ended the march at Hayden Lawn by tweeting at Brnovich to drop the lawsuit and asking participants to sign the USEE declaration.

Estefania Gomez Ruiz, an undecided sophomore DACA recipient, said that the uncertainty from losing DACA has made her time at ASU discouraging.

“I have dreams for my family and for myself that weighs heavily on me," Ruiz said in a speech to the crowd. "I have a little brother that is on the (autism) spectrum that needs extra care that’s expensive for my family to manage alone.”  

Ruiz said her parents sacrificed everything for her to achieve her dreams as an American. 

“I see my mother and stepdad working double shifts to help me cover expenses to achieve my dreams," she said. 


Reach the reporter at brookehanrahanreports@gmail.com and follow @brookehanrahan1 on Twitter. 

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