College of the Redwoods Holds Workshop on DACA

Eureka, Ca. (KIEM)- “Should I continue to pursue my degree?”

Students who attended a support group and workshop on the Eureka campus of the College of the Redwoods posed questions like these, in response to President Trump’s announcement that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals may no longer be in place in the near future.

Fear lay heavy in a number of voices, as students spoke in a circle, explaining how they felt about DACA, and how it may soon be dissolved.  

“After the DACA announcement this week a lot of students were visibly upset.” Counseling Professor Shemya Vaughn, one of the event facilitators explained, “Some of them have been unable to get out of bed, some are too nervous to come out of their homes, so the director of the college and the President of the University thought it would be a very good idea to hold a support group… for students to come, ask questions or just get support. We just want them to know they are wanted.”

During the coarse of the workshop Vaughn’s co-facilitator, Ryan Emenaker, discussed the history of DACA and similar immigration reform. He pointed out that while the President’s announcement created an emotional ripple effect that can feel like a crisis, public response might be a catalyst for more comprehensive immigration reform. 

The workshop and support group was meant not only to educate students, but to give faculty and staff tools to help their undocumented students through the next couple of months.