Statement of Solidarity
The Carolina Latinx Center FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 17, 2020
Chapel Hill, NC
THE CAROLINA LATINX CENTER APPLAUDS SUPREME COURT RULING ON DACA
CHAPEL HILL, NC—The Carolina Latinx Center applauds the decision today by the Supreme Court of the United States in ruling against the Trump Administration’s efforts to end the Deferred Action against Childhood Arrivals or DACA thereby preserving the protection against deportation for undocumented people brought to the U.S. as children.
The 5-4 ruling is a stunning defeat against the Trump Administration that has sought to end President Obama’s executive order protecting these young immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents. While the program does not provide a pathway to citizenship, it does protect against deportation, provides a social security number and a work permit. The ruling preserves DACA for the moment but does not guarantee the program from being ended again by the Trump Administration.
“The Carolina Latinx Center is heartened by the Supreme Court’s ruling today to preserve DACA and we are happy for our students and their families who are protected under the executive order,” said Paul Cuadros, faculty chair of the Center. “But this does not provide a permanent solution for our many students who do not have status or whose families are mixed status. We are encouraged that Congress will finally provide a pathway for these Dreamers and their families.”
There are approximately 700,000 recipients of the DACA who were brought to the U.S. as children. As of June 2019, there were 24,480 active DACA recipients in North Carolina, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“I am so happy. I was preparing for the worse with this ruling and now hearing this news I feel like my life has so much less uncertainty now,” said Jatzyri Perez Garcia, 19, a rising sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill.
While the ruling provides safety today for undocumented students at UNC-Chapel Hill and its system universities, it does not solve the many obstacles these students face in terms of access to higher education
“I do feel for undocumented students who are coming into college without DACA and those that are in high school applying to college,” Perez Garcia said. “I know how this has helped me.” The program is currently not accepting first-time new applicants.
In addition, North Carolina Dreamers like Perez Garcia are treated as out of state residents when it comes to tuition by the UNC system and must pay the higher out of state tuition in order to attend.
“We are happy that our students and their families continue to have protection against deportation under the DACA program,” said Cuadros. “The upholding of the program also is another opportunity for North Carolina to treat these Dreamers as in-state residents for tuition purposes and it should seize the moment to do so.”
At least 21 states and the District of Colombia have tuition equity laws that provide in-state tuition rates for undocumented students, according to the National Immigration Law Center.
The Supreme Court ruling opens the door for legislative action on providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.
“In these uncertain times, the ruling by the Supreme Court provides some much needed relief,” said Josmell Perez, executive director of the Center. “More needs to be done but this is welcomed news.”
The ruling has opened the door for students like Perez Garcia to fulfill their dreams. “When I didn’t know if DACA was going to be terminated I was afraid my plans would fall through, but now I know I can get my degree and work and I am very optimistic and happy with the ruling,” she said. Perez Garcia is pre-med and is planning on becoming a doctor.
CONTACT: Paul Cuadros, associate professor, faculty chair, Carolina Latinx Center. 919-971-3081; firstname.lastname@example.org.
A STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY
The Carolina Latinx Center condemns the continued acts of violence by the police against Black people. We stand in solidarity and are deeply affected by the recent events taking place in our country. We stand with all those who raise their voices under the inclusive and dignity-affirming banner of “Black Lives Matter.” We affirm that the lives of Black boys, such as Tamir Rice killed while playing in a park in Cleveland, OH, matter. The lives of Black women, such as Breonna Taylor, who was asleep in her bed when police entered her home and killed her in Louisville, KY, matter. The lives of Black immigrants, such as Donovan Grant—who led a hunger strike during the COVID-19 crisis while detained at Mesa Verde Detention Facility, in Bakersfield, CA, matter. The lives of Black men, such as George Floyd, killed by the police, matter. Their unjustified deaths highlight the issues of racial injustice and police brutality. We strongly condemn the actions, as well as the inaction, of the four officers responsible for Mr. Floyd’s murder, and all forms of police brutality including violence at the hands of vigilantes.
The Carolina Latinx Center stands with and supports our students, employees, colleagues, and friends in the Black community in this time of grief, pain, anger, sadness, and frustration while facing the historical and contemporary reality of racism and inequality in our country. As we express our outrage at the current unjust and unacceptable reality, our hope is to help unite our Carolina community by providing platforms for socially responsible perspectives and by contributing resources for action and social change.
The Carolina Latinx Center will be reflecting on our own organizational mission, structure, policies, culture, and programs to identify ways in which we support or fail to support members of the Black Community, including our Afro-Latinx community and any other intersecting identities. We know we have a lot of work to do, but we are committed to doing our part to reach racial justice. The immigrant community, many of whom are Black, is composed of many nationalities and ethnicities. As our immigrant community awaits the Supreme Court decision on the rescission or revocation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) this month, we will continue to be inspired by what we are witnessing around the country since George Floyd’s murder.
The Carolina Latinx Center Advisory Board
Paul Cuadros – Board Chair
Associate Professor, Hussman School of Journalism and Media
Dr. María DeGuzmán
Professor, Founding Director of The UNC Latina/o Studies Program, UNC English and Comparative Literature
Dr. Luiz A. Pimenta
Professor in Prosthodontics, Division of Comprehensive Oral Health, UNC Adams School of Dentistry
Associate Professor of Art, UNC Department of Art and Art History
Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Budget, UNC – Chapel Hill
Executive Director for Student Administration in Information Technology Services, UNC – Chapel Hill
Vice President Enterpriser Risk Senior Manager, Wells Fargo Bank
Program Director, Latinos in the Deep South and Latino Commission on AIDS.
Director, Carolina Latinx Center