Students got together on Nov. 7 to watch “The Unafraid,” a documentary directed by Anayansi Prado and Heather Courtney, in the Global Communications Center.
The documentary discusses the experiences of three students in Georgia under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act. Georgia has banned students under the DACA act from attending its top universities and has disqualified those students from receiving in-state tuition at public colleges.
The documentary was followed by a Q&A session with a panel of Bradley faculty members and the event’s student organizer, senior psychology major Kasandra Delgado-Vazquez, to further discuss the obstacles students face under DACA.
The panel answered questions posed by Kelvin Herrera-Hassan, the Executive Director of the Office for Inclusive Excellence, and the audience.
Delgado-Vazquez, a DACA student, shed a personal and emotional light on the worries of the students being affected.
“I had the same fears as the students in the documentary,” Delgado-Vazquez said. “I’ve been pretty resilient … I wish it wasn’t so difficult for undocumented students to go to college.”
The panel discussed financial difficulties, FAFSA and the many scholarships that are unavailable to undocumented students, making affording college that much harder.
They also discussed how presidential elections can bring uncertainty and worry for these students. Elected government officials directly impact the rights afforded to immigrants.
“Even when students are safe under DACA, they may still worry about their parents’ status,” Herrera-Hassan said. “Many students are just waiting for that call telling them their parents are being deported.”
The panel finished by offering students ways to support students under DACA.
“If you have undocumented friends, I encourage you to help them the best you can, even if it’s [to] just help [with] studying,” Delgado-Vazquez said.
The Cullom-Davis Library offers many resources to learn about immigration and DACA. Students can stop by to get more information.
Delgado-Vasquez has also started a DACA mentorship program that is open to any students who want to get involved. Those looking for more information can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.