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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Concerns over DACA addressed during forum

NE+student+development+associate+Janjura+Williams+asks+a+question+to+student+development+services+vice+president+Mayra+Olivares-Urueta+during+the+NE+DACA+forum+Sept.+27.
NE student development associate Janjura Williams asks a question to student development services vice president Mayra Olivares-Urueta during the NE DACA forum Sept. 27. Photo by Gabrielle Saleh/The Collegian

By Lana Shuck/reporter

Concerns over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program were addressed Sept. 27 in a NE Campus forum for students, faculty and staff.

“If we don’t have students, we don’t have a college,” said Mayra Olivares-Urueta, NE vice president for student development services, who led the discussion. She said it was “important for us to have a space to talk and really to give students an opportunity to talk.”

Olivares-Urueta wanted students to understand how NE Campus supports them. Forum participants discussed student resources, current law, staff guidelines and goals moving forward. Olivares-Urueta doesn’t know how many students are affected because their information isn’t shared. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits the college from sharing anyone’s personal information including immigration status.

NE police supervisor Lt. Terry Moak clarified responsibilities regarding DACA and Senate Bill 4, a state law that gives officers the right to ask about immigration status when they legally detain or arrest someone.

“Typically, we do not ask for immigration status on students,” he said.

Racial profiling is illegal, and officers cannot ask random people or victims and witnesses about their status at a crime scene. Regarding who can be asked about immigration status, Moak said anyone breaking the law can be questioned about their status.

“If students ran a stop sign, we wouldn’t ask, but we are required by state law to follow federal law,” he said.

Students voicing fear about adding personal information to a financial aid application were encouraged to share contact information so she could find answers from people with the knowledge to address concerns. Faculty and staff also discussed developing ways to share information with students hesitant to ask for help directly.

“We are going to be respectful,” Olivares-Urueta said. “We are going to be humble. We are going to be human, and we are going to treat everybody like they should be treated. There’s really very few instances where anybody needs to talk about the check of a status.”

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