UNC DACA Week aims to bring awareness to immigration justice from an intersectional and inclusive lens this week through reading groups, a community forum and keynote lecture.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which was created in 2012 by the Obama administration, defers deportation for two years for individuals brought to the United States illegally when they were children and allows them to receive work permits. In September, the Trump administration announced intentions to repeal the program, a decision that two federal judges have since said is unconstitutional.
The week is cosponsored by the Department of Religious Studies, Carolina Union Activities Board, LGBTQ Centerat UNC, Sexuality and Gender Alliance, Latina/o Studies, Graduate and Professional Student Federation and UNC Undocumented Students. It will kick off with reading groups led by undergraduate and graduate students on Tuesday which will discuss DACA, sanctuary cities and borderlands. On Wednesday, a community forum will highlight the different approaches to fighting for immigration justice. The week will end with keynote lecture by Jennicet Gutiérrez, a transgender Latina organizer from Mexico and organizer at Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement.
Barbara Sostaita, a graduate student in the Department of Religious Studies who organized the event with fellow graduate student Micah Hughes, said the state of limbo the program is currently in causes fear for DACA recipients – many of which are students, faculty and staff at UNC. However, she stressed that immigration justice is much larger than the issue of DACA.
“We hope people can learn a little more about immigration and how that affects the Chapel Hill community,” Sostaita said. “And try to bring awareness to our campus and making sure that people leave with at least a clearer sense of how this issue is one we should be paying attention to and fighting for beyond DACA.”
Hughes said he expects Gutiérrez will push a lot of people to think about the ways DACA affects their lives and how LGBTQ rights, policing and reproductive justice and incarceration are all very integral parts of the movement.