El Paisano

Rio Hondo Hosts Healing Circle Following DACA Announcement

Students+filled+the+Student+Union+at+Rio+Hondo+to+discuss+the+DACA+elimination+announcement.
Students filled the Student Union at Rio Hondo to discuss the DACA elimination announcement.

Students filled the Student Union at Rio Hondo to discuss the DACA elimination announcement.

Ramon Alvarado/El Paisano News

Ramon Alvarado/El Paisano News

Students filled the Student Union at Rio Hondo to discuss the DACA elimination announcement.

Ramon Alvarado, Editor-in-Chief

With the Trump Administration announcing the elimination of the DACA program, many undocumented students are left wondering what’s in store for them now. Keeping this in mind, Rio Hondo held a Healing Circle inside the school’s Student Union on Tuesday afternoon. The event, which was open to students and staff, provided a platform to discuss what they were feeling following the decision to eliminate DACA.

Rio Hondo’s Student Union was daunted by a somber vibe. The room was filled with documented and undocumented students alike; all of whom knew someone that would be affected by the DACA announcement.

To start off the meeting, Rio reps passed out copies of the official memo released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding the DACA decision. After copies of the memo were passed out, students were told to get in “elbow-partner” groups of two or three to discuss their feelings about the issue amongst each other.

“Taking [DACA] away is so wrong,” first-year student Alex Lopez said. Lopez is not a DACA member herself, but has close friends at Rio Hondo who are. “[The DACA members] have so much more to worry about now,” she continued. “They don’t even know if they’ll be safe on campus.”

One question that constantly came up during the session was: what’s next? Dr. Mike Munoz, Executive Dean of Counseling and Student Equity, knows that everybody’s situation differentiates, so just assured them they are safe on Rio Hondo’s campus.

“What we really wanted to do was really affirm Rio Hondo College’s commitment to all our students, especially our Dreamers right now,” Dr. Munoz stated after the event. “Make sure that they know that they are not just welcomed, but they are wanted on this campus. To provide them with the most updated information that the college has access to and link them with resources and support should they need it.”

Rio Hondo will be holding another Healing Circle for anybody who would like to talk more about the DACA elimination. The meeting will be held at one p.m. but the meeting place on Rio’s campus has yet to be announced.

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Rio Hondo Hosts Healing Circle Following DACA Announcement