“The University of New Mexico supports DACA students, supports everyone who is on this campus,” said Chaouki Abdallah, University interim president at a Defend DACA walkout on UNM campus Tuesday.
Several hundred students joined together Tuesday morning to show their support for immigrants, specifically those benefitting from the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program.
Many students did not attend class, walked out early or were released by instructors who also wanted to show their support.
DACA was implemented in 2012 by the Obama administration and allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors with their parents to stay in the U.S. on a two-year renewable period of deferred action from deportation and allows them to be eligible for a work permit.
Tuesday’s walkout began at 11 a.m. when students gathered outside Scholes Hall and in Smith Plaza, and after a winding walk through campus concluded with speeches in the grass under the Lobo statue at the corner of Central Ave. and University Blvd. NE.
Before the group took off on their march across campus, Abdallah spoke about President Trump’s recent announcement to rescind DACA with a six-month delay.
“We are here to support you to tell you that we are working with our allies in Congress and the state and in the city to try to get it through congress, to fix it through Congress,” Abdallah said.
Prior to Trump’s announcement this morning, 600 other universities wrote to the president in an effort to change his mind on DACA, according to Abdallah.
“As it was announced today, we are still trying to figure out exactly how it’s going to affect us individually,” he said. “What we are trying to tell you today, is that we are working with all the national organizations (and) with other universities.”
Celia Raney is the news editor for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Celia_Raney.