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ASU hosts DACA informational workshop

The University hosted an event at the downtown campus to educate DACA recipients and supporters


Participants meet for the DACA workshop hosted by ASU on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017 in the A.E. England building on the downtown Phoenix campus.

ASU hosted an informational workshop on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on Sept. 13 at the downtown Phoenix campus in an effort to support students and faculty impacted by President Trump's decision to rescind DACA.

Local lawyers, support groups, ASU clubs, students and families from the community came together to express their anxiety and any concerns that they have about their current situation.

“I think that we are going through a lot of stress and anxiety, but we are resilient people," said Reyna Montoya, an ASU alumna, DACA recipient and founder of Aliento. "We just need a friend that will sit there and listen."

Aliento is a student-led immigration advocacy organization that focuses on outreach, therapy workshops and leadership development.

Montoya said that she is worried she will be deported if Congress can not pass a bill to protect her legal status and allow her to remain in the country. 

Yasmeen Chanes, a political science senior and intern at Aliento, said she has grown up around those who are undocumented, and that the undocumented community is being threatened by President Trump's decision. 

"I just felt like it was really important as an ally and someone who is documented to just be involved and learn to be a good ally," Chanes said. She said that being a part of Aliento has really taught her how to mobilize a social movement while also being sensitive when it comes to people's legal status.

The focus of the evening was the "DREAMzone Initiative," presented by Vasthy Lamadrid, a political science senior. She explained that DREAMzone is an organization that was started by two graduate students to provide training to ASU faculty and educators on being allies to the DACA community.

“ASU wants to be supportive of 'DACA-mented' and undocumented students," Lamadrid said. "They have shifted their focus more onto the students.”

Local attorney and ASU alumnus Ruben Reyes said that everyone should know their rights, make sure that they don’t break any laws and, if they are eligible, renew their DACA cards before the March 5 cutoff.

Lamadrid, like many others, has legal status until her DACA card expires.

“We are living with this anxiety and stress constantly right now and I have to think about … will I have to (renew my DACA card) or will I not be able to secure a job?” she said.

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