The Utah State University Democrats Club rallied last Thursday in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA - the program created by former President Obama that protects undocumented children from being deported, which President Trump has threatened to end.
Attendees shouted, “No hate, no fear, dreamers are welcome here,” and held signs displaying their support.
Eric Keil, who is the vice president of USU Democrats and a passionate supporter of DACA, started off the rally.
“I love you guys all dearly. And I promise you, if anyone tries to take you out of your homeland, the United States of America, I will stand in front of those people, and they will have to take me, too. That is how much I believe in this. That is how much I love you. I will fight for your rights. This country is not mine, this country is ours,” he said.
Keil wasn’t alone in sharing a personal experience. Several students spoke, but Sofia Rodriguez-Walter, a USU student and DACA recipient, shared a particularly personal experience.
“I grew up not knowing that I was undocumented, that I was different. Suddenly being told that I’m not allowed to work or I’m not allowed to have a driver’s license or that I’m not allowed to get higher education or to be in this country that I should leave is a really scary feeling because it’s the only home I know,” she said.
Rodriguez-Walter was born in Argentina, but has lived in the United States for the last 14 years.
She said the removal of DACA has been really difficult for her, but events like these help her feel a glimpse of hope.
“These sort of events are really important and they mean a lot to me and I know they mean a lot to the undocumented community,” she said. “I think that we can make a difference. I think that if we share our stories and we raise awareness of who we are and why we’re here, that all we really want is to live in this country and contribute to this country and be a part of it.”