How is CSI Protecting Us from Trump’s Latest Decision?
By: Jessica Scarimbolo
Due to the diverse population of students, faculty and staff in our college, the recent decision by President Donald Trump regarding the DACA could be of serious effect to our school community.
Within the next six months, people who previously received DACA will be considered for work authorization, but it is not guaranteed.
If work authorization is granted, other arrangements would have to be made for these individuals.
Unfortunately, students, faculty and staff at the College of Staten Island are just a small fraction of the 800,000 people in our country who will be drastically affected by this change, possibly forcing them to be deported.
DACA, an abbreviation for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was an immigration policy put in place in 2012 by our then president, Barack Obama.
The DACA allowed people who came to the United States as illegal minors, to have the opportunity to work in the country, as long as they met certain guidelines.
Some of the guidelines included:
- Being under the age of 31 years old by June 15, 2012
- Having come to the United States before the person’s 16th birthday
- Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
- Being enrolled in, graduated from, or received a certificate proving a high school diploma or GED
- Have not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor
Previously these guidelines would grant you the right to the DACA. However, as of September 5, 2017, President Trump put an end to this policy, affecting many Americans.
The DACA is valid for two years and was previously able to be renewed. However, if your DACA expired before September 4, 2017, the policy is no longer available for you.
Luckily for previous DACA recipients of the College of Staten Island, President William J. Fritz sent out an email to the college population, informing them that their rights would remain protected at the college.
On September 6, 2017, Fritz sent out this email promising to keep the promises made in December of 2016.
In the email, he reminded the CSI community that there will be NO action taken in enforcing these new, reformed immigration laws unless required by law.
Fritz also promised to continue protecting student record information and not turning over records to immigration enforcement, unless required by the court.
He stated that the school will work with leaders of the city, state and federal in order to ensure the educational rights of DACA students.
Fritz ended the email with a list of resources students could utilize during this difficult time including CUNY Citizenship Now, providing confidential immigration law services in order to help people get their United States citizenship.
He also reminded students that the people of our college are committed to ensure the security and safety of all the students, faculty and staff.
As of September 14, 2017, CSI also sent out an email from CUNY Citizenship Now providing a place for CUNY students to renew their DACA.
Due to the deadline for the renewal of the DACA, this program will help students with their applications up until this deadline, completely free of charge.
Not only is our college working to protect people who are currently DACA recipients, but they are also working to better educate our population on this policy and what Trump’s change will mean for the future of our country.
A number of lectures were given at the college by faculty members at the school this past week.
It is important for our community to understand and be supportive of those who are affected during this difficult time in the country, especially since many of these people could be closer to us than we realize.