About 80 people, mostly Seattle high-school students, gathered at Seattle Central College to support DACA recipients and other students who are undocumented immigrants.
A Garfield High School senior who wants to go to college. A Seattle University student studying to become an engineer. A 23-year-old who writes poetry.
The speakers at a rally at Seattle Central College on Thursday had different backgrounds, but one thing in common: They’re all undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States when they were young. And they’re all worried about their future, and the future of their families, because of the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
About 80 people, mostly Seattle high-school students, gathered at Seattle Central to support DACA recipients and other students who are undocumented immigrants. The rally and march were organized by students at Seattle’s Franklin High School, who staged a walkout Thursday afternoon.
“We wanted to show solidarity for the undocumented community,” said Ebany Tura, 17, a Franklin senior. “We want to make them feel comfortable and feel like they belong, because they do belong.”
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One DACA recipient, who came to the United States when she was 4, said she wouldn’t have as many opportunities without the program. She and other speakers talked about their constant worry about being deported to a country they don’t remember.
“This is our country, and the only one we know,” she said.
The group then marched to City Hall, shouting chants like “No one is illegal” and “Who’s in charge? We are.”
There are about 18,000 DACA recipients in Washington state and 800,000 nationwide. In the Seattle area, several school districts have passed resolutions or sent letters to families in support of students who hold that status. The Seattle School Board passed a resolution last week urging Congress to find a “positive and permanent” solution for students who are eligible for the DACA program. Last February, the district announced that Seattle schools staff will never ask for a student’s immigration status and the district won’t allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents access to any student records.
Earlier this week, Gov. Jay Inslee announced that 250 Washington residents will receive help to cover the application fees for the two-year DACA extension, thanks to a $125,000 anonymous donation.