Hall High students protest decision to end DACA | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Hall High students protest decision to end DACA

Posted By on Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 2:39 PM

Watch THV11's video of a group of students at Little Rock's Hall High demonstrating against the recision of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The Trump administration on Tuesday announced that DACA, which allows certain young undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S., will be phased out beginning in six months.

Hall is home to the Little Rock School District's Newcomer Center, which is geared toward serving immigrant children and those who speak English as a second language. The school is 24 percent Hispanic, and also serves other immigrants from around the world. It should be noted that DACA recipients aren't uniformly Hispanic, and that DACA recipients can be found in high schools throughout Little Rock, from Central High to LISA Academy.

The Hall students protesting outside the school today weren't uniformly Hispanic, either. The young African-American woman who spoke to THV said she wasn't a DACA recipient, but still felt the need to protest something she sees as hurting her peers.

"I’m a Christian, and I’m very religious, and I feel that all of us are related in some way, and we should love each other. ... So when they’re taking them [DACA recipients] out, they’re taking them out of classrooms. They help us to learn about different cultures. They help us to learn some of our history. These are the same kids who taught me Spanish and helped me on my Spanish exam. I feel like we should be allowed to stand up for each other," she said.

"These aren’t just Hispanic people. I’m not just a black kid. There’s not just white, and Mexican kids out here. We’re people. We make up this community," she added later. "So what we do and what we say, it does matter … It’s not just black lives matter. It’s not just Hispanic lives matter. We need to say all lives matter, because we stand together, united."

(Editorial note: Yes, I recognize the rhetorical hay to be made out of that last comment and that unlikeliest of flashpoint phrases, "all lives matter." I'll pass, and simply say that personally, I really appreciate it when any activist, left or right, departs from the standard-issue script.)

Meanwhile, the Arkansas United Community Coalition, an immigrants rights organization, is organizing a "Defend DACA" march at the Capitol on Saturday, Sept. 16. (EDIT: This post originally implied the event was on Saturday, Sept. 9. My mistake.)

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