OWU protests DACA phase-out plan


Ohio Wesleyan University students rallied Wednesday to protest President Donald Trump’s plan to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

OWU Chaplain Jon Powers organized the event on the steps of the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center and was one of the main speakers. Powers said it was crucial that people speak out against President Trump’s decision to rescinded the policy that allowed certain illegal immigrants who came to the United States as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and gives them eligibility for a work permit. The policy effects approximately 800,000 young people.

Powers quoted South African social rights advocate and former Anglican bishop, Desmond Tutu, and said, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Several scripture passages from the Bible were read during the rally as well, including Leviticus 19:33-34, which says, “When the alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Powers also invited Juan Armando Rojas Joo, a Spanish and Hispanic American Literature professor and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at OWU, to speak to the dozens of students in attendance.

“At the end of the year, when we give those prizes to faculty members because they were the best faculty members of the year and the most inclusive and the most engaged and the more embracing, but I ask right now, where are they right now?” Rojas Joo said. “Do we need to kill a DACA student in order to have 1,600 hundred students and 200 faculty members here?”

Rojas encouraged students in attendance to speak to their classmates and friends about DACA and what they can do to help.

Student volunteers handed out information about contacting the White House, Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown and Rep. Pat Tiberi to ask them to work with congress to pass a legislative solution to protect the individuals effected by the DACA phase out.

“No human being is illegal,” said Emerson Bonnema, a junior at OWU. “We don’t belong anywhere except with our loved ones and in our homes. I wouldn’t be able live with myself if I looked back on this a day, a week, a year or a decade from now and saw myself being silent if I could have made some noise to resist this.”

The gathering lasted about an hour and was attended by several dozen students and faculty members.

“I think this cause is something that’s really important,” said Sarah Gielink, a sophomore. “It’s important to hear people’s stories and to listen and help them any way they can.”

.neFileBlock {
margin-bottom: 20px;
}
.neFileBlock p {
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
}
.neFileBlock .neFile {
border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;
padding-bottom: 5px;
padding-top: 10px;
}
.neFileBlock .neCaption {
font-size: 85%;
}

Students and faculty members at Ohio Wesleyan University gather outside the Hamilton-Williams Campus center Wednesday afternoon to protest President Trump’s phase-out of DACA.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/09/web1_DSC_0536.jpgStudents and faculty members at Ohio Wesleyan University gather outside the Hamilton-Williams Campus center Wednesday afternoon to protest President Trump’s phase-out of DACA. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Juan Armando Rojas Joo, a Spanish and Hispanic American Literature professor and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at OWU, speaks to the crowd and urges them to talk to their friends and classmates about DACA.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/09/web1_DSC_0508.jpgJuan Armando Rojas Joo, a Spanish and Hispanic American Literature professor and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at OWU, speaks to the crowd and urges them to talk to their friends and classmates about DACA. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@delgazette.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU