Oklahoma City students call for immigration reform
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Hundreds of students at an Oklahoma City high school called for immigration reform during a recent walkout.
The walkout and rally at Santa Fe South High School on Thursday was among dozens of walkouts at schools and universities nationwide. The protests were held two months after President Donald Trump announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program would end next year, The Oklahoman reported.
DACA, a program implemented during former President Barack Obama’s administration, allows young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and are living in the country illegally to stay in the U.S. The program covers about 800,000 students.
The Oklahoma City school’s protest was peaceful and not officially sanctioned by the school, though several teachers stood with the students to show their support.
Dunia Dominguez, a junior at the high school, has lived in the U.S. since she was 3 months old. She said the president’s announcement motivated her to protest.
Jessica Vasquez was the master of ceremonies at the rally and is part of a local advocacy group. She said the goal of the walkouts was to call on Congress to act as a March 2018 expiration of DACA approaches.
“There’s less than a month before (Congress) goes to recess, so we really want to have something happen before December, before they go recess for the holidays,” Vasquez said. “They have been sitting on this issue for years. We just need action now.”
Vasquez noted that DACA was never intended to be a solution, only a temporary fix.
“We have always been fighting for more,” Vasquez said.
Hispanic students make up more than half of the enrollment in Oklahoma City public schools, including a large number of DACA students, the newspaper reported.
Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com