Some Latino students at North Hennepin Community College are trying to cope with the unknown status of U.S. immigration policy established under President Obama known as DACA. The policy affects so-called "dreamers," or undocumented immigrants who arrived as kids and went to school in the U.S.
"Are they concerned? Yes," said Felipa Cespedes form the North Hennepin Latino Outreach program. "Is it more than just Latino students who are concerned? Absolutely. It has to do with a lot more than DACA and immigration. It has to do with the livelihood of our communities. What they look like and so forth."
September is Hispanic Heritage Month and on Tuesday North Hennepin hosted a Latino heritage event. There were speakers and alumni on hand who talked about their experiences at the college. Currently there are 380 Latino students at North Hennepin which is seven percent of the total enrollment.
DACA was a dominant topic at the event. The program could be slowly phased out in the next couple of years and that could have serious repercussions for some.
"When you have a program that is protecting more than 800,000 people and has existed for five years and been incredibly successful and incredibly popular, to end it so abruptly without anything else to replace it is doing a disservice to our children and their families," said Margaret Martin, a lawyer from the Immigration Law Center of Minnesota.
Martin says it's "problematic" that the government initially took information from the dreamers to protect them, but now could use that information to turn over to immigration enforcement agents.
Eric Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org