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DACA at forefront of discussion

on ‘Social Action Day’ at ECSU

By MICHELLE FIRESTONE

Chronicle Staff Writer

WILLIMANTIC — In light of the national debate about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the issue will be discussed during the annual “Social Action Day” at Eastern Connecticut State University Tuesday.

The event, which is organized by students in Eastern’s Social Work program, is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Betty Tipton Room at the ECSU Student Center.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. for the event, which is open to the public.

Food will be available.

According to a press release from Eastern, approximately 800,000 young people in the United States whose parents brought them to the country have benefited from DACA, an executive order signed by former President Barack Obama in June 2012.

Those students have been able to work, obtain drivers licenses and attend college under the DACA program, despite their undocumented status.

On Sept. 5, President Donald Trump announced he was ending DACA and gave Congress a six-month deadline to come up with a replacement plan.

The Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system, which includes Eastern, and the University of Connecticut have joined with other colleges in the county.

An opening ceremony will run from 9 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, followed by student presentations from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., including a mock debate; a panel discussion with speakers from 11 a.m. to noon; and a question and answer session from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Speakers include attorney Edwin Colon, who is director of the Immigrant Children’s Justice Project at the Center for Children’s Advocacy, a legal rights organization for children with offices in Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven; local community activist Renato Calle; and several DACA students.

State Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Danielson, has also been invited to speak.

Students in social welfare policy classes taught by professors Isabel Logan, Paul Trubey and Pamela Chiang organized the event.

Petitions being sent to state lawmakers, the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate will be available for attendees to sign.

 

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