Local activists to hold rally Tuesday in support of DACA recipients



Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers his immigration speech at a rally in Phoenix, Ariz., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

By Francois Gatimu

Local activists will hold a vigil and rally on Tuesday in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients as they await President Donald Trump’s decision as to whether to discontinue the program or not.

Trump is expected to announce the fate of the program on Tuesday, which is estimated to impact 800,000 undocumented immigrants in the United States — some of which attend SIU and work in the Carbondale community.

The university had 20 students protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2016, several of which are still on campus, according to university officials.


The DACA program was launched in 2012 following an executive order issued by President Barack Obama to protect students who were brought into the country before reaching age 16.

The vigil, which is hosted by the Southern Illinois Immigrants Rights Project, is set to go from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a rally from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Gaia House, according to a news release sent by the group.

“We believe it is important to show both affected SIU students and community members that we support them,” said Becca Tally, the group’s co-chair.

Tally said the discontinuation of DACA would be a disruption to the lives of “valued members of our community.”

Trump’s announcement is anticipated to at minimum drastically change the program. However, with the president facing mounting pressure to end DACA from nine state attorneys general, many are anticipating the program to be phased out entirely.

The activist group is also urging its members and supporters to call their own local legislators, as well as key federal lawmakers such as Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to show support.

Staff writer Francois Gatimu can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @frankDE28.


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