In response to President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Pacific University’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will host a vigil in support of DACA and its recipients Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. on the Marsh Hall lawn.
DACA is meant to protect people who immigrated to the United States as children from deportation so they can work and go to school here even without proper documentation. The vigil will feature speakers like Pacific University President Leslie Hallick, Dr. Chuck Currie and possibly State Representative Susan McClain.
Student office assistant for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Sophia O’Neal, called the vigil a very passionate awareness event and a peaceful sign of solidarity.
“There are DACA recipients on campus and DACA lets them be here because they are American in every way except for papers,” O’Neal said. “To end DACA and possibly deport over half a million people is inhumane and we felt that we would be remiss if we didn’t take any sort of action.”
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will supply candle and poster making supplies for the vigil so people may write their own messages of solidarity. It will also provide information about DACA and how it can be saved by calling state representatives.
O’Neal and the rest of the Diversity Office hope to get people of the Forest Grove community involved as well.
“The end of DACA is not just a problem for Pacific’s campus,” O’Neal said.
According to O’Neal the event is being held because it is important for the university’s administration and faculty to actively show support for the DACA recipients here.
“We want to show the humanity of the people who are affected by this recent decision of the presidential administration,” O’Neal said. “We also want to bring attention to it and show that people can take action against the decision.”