The DREAM rally was held in Borchuck Plaza in front of the library at East Tennessee State University on Monday, Sept. 18.
This event was put on by ETSU student Noah Nordstrom and other students to show their support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals legislation, which President Trump announced on Sept. 5 he would be ending.
DACA is a policy implemented by former President Barack Obama in June 2012 in the form of the DREAM Act. This bill was created to allow certain individuals who entered the country illegally as minors to receive a renewable period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
There were approximately 800,000 individuals who were enrolled in this program.
President Trump decided to put an end to the program earlier this month, a decision a lot in America weren’t happy with.
The DREAM Rally started at 1:30 p.m, with multiple speakers scheduled. The speakers ranged from current ETSU students who were DACA recipients, students who are affected by DACA’s sudden ending and faculty members affected by the bill.
Carlos Carillo was one of the 800,000 people who depended on DACA and a junior at ETSU. Carillo moved here with his family in 2000 when he was 5 years old. He urged students to help get the message out.
“There are four new bills in Congress they’re looking at. The DREAM rally is to help get our word out and actually see what we’ve been through,” Carillo said. “We’re doing the rally and addressing it to our representatives, and people can call to have the officials know people care about the bills.”
Assistant Director of Leadership and Civic Engagement Joy Fulkerson helped the university partner with a nonprofit organization out of Nashville to provide education and action steps for students regarding DACA.
“I’ve had lots of students share their concerns about the politics of immigration and refugee rights, so we talked about we can do,” Fulkerson said. “I think most importantly for all of us is to become educated and aware of the real facts of the issue, and to be able to communicate those facts.”