Luis Gomez, a 21-year-old senior at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Following up on the previous post.
While the University of Illinois has turned a deaf ear to faculty, student and alumni calls for undocumented student sanctuary, Muriel A. Howard, the president of the American Association of State Colleges & Universities, voiced support for these students.
DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which Trump vowed to rescind as he campaigned for the presidency. DACA is the 2012 Obama directive that gave undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children a chance to work and study legally, without getting deported.
Howard sent a letter to Trump this week in support of the program. “Only through such a robust and accessible infrastructure for all of our people can America compete on the global stage,” she wrote.
However, after congratulating Trump on his election, the letter included this:
“We appreciate your most recent comments that immigration enforcement should focus on undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes.”
This statement is a straw man and feeds into the Trump racist statements about immigrants being rapists and thieves.
Reading this, I recalled the comments of Luis Gomez, a 21-year-old senior at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Gomez had been invited to join Mayor Rahm Emanuel and my Congressman Luis Gutierrez for a press conference on Chicago’s commitment to sanctuary.
Gomez surprised the Mayor and the Congressman by criticizing their selective sanctuary position.
“If unity is to be achieved, you need to stop categorizing and separating the undocumented community between deplorable and DREAMers,” Gomez said. “I demand that you stand for all immigrants.”
In a follow-up interview with In These Times, Gomez explained further.
Trump gave an interview saying that he was planning to deport or incarcerate undocumented immigrants with a criminal record. And his policy proposal wasn’t specific about which kinds of crimes they would target, meaning that some immigration violations could in fact become criminal, like returning to the United States after you’ve been deported. It could also include people who lost their way when they were younger, but now are in school—I know people like that who got in trouble with the law—and people who have been desperate because of their situation with no legal status and have resorted to means of survival that are not legal.
When I heard that Trump was planning to incarcerate and deport these people, I knew I had to do something. These people that I’m talking about, these are people in our communities, these are families, these are our friends. It’s important for me to speak for these people because if they deport everyone that I know and love, then there’s no point in saving me.
You need to protect us all, not just the people who you deem as deserving of being saved.