The OU Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is hosting a webinar to bring awareness to undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals students at OU.
Monique Lemus is the director of the Bias Response Committee — a part of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion — and also one of the organizers of the webinar.
“We will be discussing the demographics of the population, as well as some of the challenges and unique experiences that this group faces as they work toward their education,” Lemus said. “We will cover some of the myths or misinformation around the group, and we will discuss the latest on the recent (U.S. Supreme Court) decision.”
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is an Obama-era program which, according to the Department of Homeland Security, would allow individuals to apply for deferred action if they met certain requirements. Deferred action is an immigration status that can be granted and revoked at any time by the U.S., which allows illegal immigrants a delay in deportation who have met said requirements.
DACA requires that if someone “had come to the U.S. before their 16th birthday; were under age 31; had continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007; and were in school, graduated or had obtained a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or were an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States,” they are eligible for deferred action.
The Trump administration announced planned to remove DACA protections for illegal and undocumented immigrants in Sept. 2017, but those efforts were shut down by the recent Supreme Court decision. This decision protects hundreds of thousands of people from immediate deportation, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Lemus also spoke on the motivation behind the webinar, which is “to build awareness around one of our many invisible populations on campus.”
Lemus said the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is able to have 100 people attend. Sign-ups are still open, but she said the event is filling quickly.
“We hope that the effect on the students is that they are more aware of resources both on campus and locally and that they know they are not alone,” Lemus said. “We also hope that staff and faculty are more prepared to share those resources with students when they need information and therefore can provide support to students in that way.”
The webinar, which will be hosted on Zoom, will start at 4 p.m. on June 24, according to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.