President Donald Trump's America is welcoming xenophobia with the administration’s decision to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), the country's northern neighbor is stepping up to say no to anti-immigrant sentiment.
Huron University College in Ontario, Canada is offering $60,000 scholarships to students affected by the DACA repeal. The DACA program allowed young individuals who were brought illegally to the United States as children, receive work permits and avoid deportation, among other benefits. Now that those protections have been rescinded, however, it may prove difficult for these former DACA students to even receive the scholarship the university is offering.
"There are legal obstacles and political obstacles that would seem to be very difficult to overcome in order to facilitate the entry of these people," said Eddie Kadri, an immigration lawyer from Windsor, Ontario.
While the idea is well intended, these students who were previously allowed to travel outside of the U.S. under DACA face complex legal issues if they want to attend a university outside of the country.
Still, the offer means more than financial help from an institution, it's a welcome display of humanity for a group of people who are often defined by economic and political policy, when it should be framed with humanity and empathy.
Barry Craig, the principal of Huron University, came up with the idea and has pledged that the school is ready to help in any way it can.
"What a terrible circumstance. They're facing deportation, the end of their dreams and the end of their education," said Craig. "We want to do anything as a small school to demonstrate our commitment to a just society."
Craig wanted to make a clear statement to what he calls a “terrible injustice.”
Support has poured in for the students affected by the DACA repeal, as well as support for the undocumented community as a whole. Their situation is up in the air, and it seems Trump can’t even take a solid stance.
While the future of undocumented immigrants and students in the U.S. is up in the air, we can find hope among their allies:
To all the #DACA “Dreamers”: You enrich colleges everywhere, advancing scholarship and discovery. Wellesley stands with you.— Paula Johnson (@DrPaulaJohnson) September 5, 2017
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: REUTERS/Kyle Grillot