“I think a lot of people don’t really know what DACA is. People think [Trump] can’t really do anything about it, but they don’t really understand the difference between an executive order and the law,” she said. “He can literally just take that piece of paper and throw it in the trash and that will be it. It won’t mean anything anymore.”
Fear of a Trump presidency is in fact prompting many to shy away from applying for the program or from renewing their paperwork out of fear their information will be used by the government to initiate deportation proceedings against them.
“The most important thing to remember, is that you may not have papers, but you do have rights. You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to respond to immigration’s questions,” Davenport said. “If they ask where you were born or where you live, just say you’d prefer not to answer.”
The hope is that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials will decide you are too much of a hassle and will not bother pursuing someone who shows they have a clear understanding of their legal rights, she said.
Renteria has been working with Students Advocating Law and Education (SALE), a UC Merced group comprised of undocumented students and allies that has been promoting voter registration on campus this fall. A week of registration and voter education events are planned for Oct. 18 through 21, in the lead up to California’s deadline on Oct. 24.
“Many of the students I talk to know there are undocumented people, but they just don’t know there are undocumented students,” she says. “Once you find a way to relate it to them though, it’s easier for them to understand the importance [of the issue] and pay attention.”
Unresponsive at first, the full impact of the decision settled in and I was devastated. I sat down and watched Univision — they were interviewing all of the disappointed parents and Dreamers. Seeing their heartbroken faces and frustrations hit me hard. It was another blow for immigration activists. One of many received over the years.