The Christian Science Monitor

DACA students weigh the value of speaking out when deportation is at stake

Students walk across campus between classes at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, on Oct. 3, 2017. Out of just over 4,000 undergrads, 104 are DACA students, who attend the university on private scholarships from The Dream.US. This is the second year the scholarships have been offered. Source: Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff

Stefanny Amorim almost didn't appear in this article.

When Ms. Amorim, a sophomore at Eastern Connecticut State University, first opened the email from an advisor asking for undocumented students to speak to a reporter about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), she hesitated to volunteer. She’d avoided publicly exposing herself as undocumented in the past, cautioned by her mother and deterred by the arrest of a friend.

But in the current political moment, with the fate of DACA up in the air, she felt compelled to speak out.

“We have this time where Congress can really do something about DACA and hopefully, maybe, change something for the better,” explains Amorim, whose family moved to the United States from Brazil when she was 5 years old. “I feel like it’s really important to have my story out there so people can somewhat understand and sympathize with our cause.”

Throughout his campaign, President Trump repeatedly signaled that he would not revoke DACA, which granted temporary protection to some 800,000 undocumented young people who were brought to theas children and allowed them to apply for work permits. On Sept. 5, in a reversal of that position, the president announced that he was rescinding the Obama-era policy – pending a six-month delay – giving those whose DACA status was set to expire before March one month to submit an application for renewal.

A different environment for sharingColleges provide safety and supportStaying quiet not an optionFocus on schoolwork'We're human, too'

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