Immigration reform finds support on campus

Daniel Maraccini, Staff member

After nearly six years in office, President Barack Obama is on the verge of his first significant reform to the immigration system. Diablo Valley College faculty and staff are welcoming the changes.

A key part of the action is allowing temporary residence to undocumented parents.

If an undocumented parent has lived in the U.S. for at least five years and their child is a legal citizen or green card holder, then the parent is eligible for three years of residence.

According to CNN, the action does not offer “a path to eventual citizenship or (eligibility) for federal benefits or health care programs.”

Anthropology major Ayanda Moses views keeping these families together as a positive.

“It’s not harmful at all to allow a hard-working family to stay,” she said. ”If they were going to harm U.S. citizens they would have done it already.”

The action also places emphasis on identifying and deporting undocumented immigrants who are potentially dangerous, such as gang members and felons.

The controversy surrounding the reform effort is that it’s an executive order. After years of gridlock concerning the issue, Obama is effectively bypassing Congress to implement this action.

During his Nov. 20 public address, Obama spoke about this decision.

“I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together,” he said. “But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as president … that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just.”

Students at DVC seem to be agreeing with the president’s action. Communications major Karla Xochicale is one of those students.

“For years, the GOP has not wanted anything to do with immigration reform,” Xochicale said. “Nothing was going to happen with the immigration reform if Obama waited for the Congress.”

Psychology major Arman Mostaghimi points out that President Obama is not the first to use this action.

“He did what many presidents have done before him by putting through executive orders in order to make a stand on something he believed in,” Mostaghimi said.

DVC student counselor Tedmund Munoz encourages students affected by the action to utilize school resources.

“Since every student could be impacted differently, counseling would be a great start,” Munoz said. “A counselor could aid a student directly or make appropriate referrals depending on an individual’s situation.”