By Sara Manjee, Marquette University; Abby Hughes, Canisius University; and Kaylee Wong, Fordham University
On Monday, April 20, the Jesuit Student Government Alliance (JSGA) organized and led a Day of Advocacy for DACA recipients. This day of action brought together the student governments at Jesuit institutions across the country in the spirit of advocating for and with their peers who identify as Dreamers.
In consultation with the Ignatian Solidarity Network (ISN), JSGA designed a toolkit for students to use while contacting their representatives. This toolkit provided education about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA); templates for contacting representatives about a Clean Dream Act; and contact information for every United States Senator. Throughout the day, students used materials in the toolkit to call, tweet at, and e-mail their respective U.S. Senators to urge the passing of a Clean Dream Act.
This Day of Advocacy follows the passage of the JSGA statement regarding DACA, which was released on March 4, 2020. In this statement, Jesuit student governments stated their commitment to fostering inclusive campus environments where immigrants and DACA recipients feel welcomed, safe and supported.
This Day of Advocacy is just one of the many ways that JSGA plans to stand in solidarity with DACA recipients. The event also offered a unique opportunity for student governments to educate their campus communities about the importance of the DACA program and the need to create a campus environment that is inclusive to all experiences. This education and solidarity is especially important now, as we await a final decision from the Supreme Court regarding the fate of the DACA program.
JSGA hopes to continue to grow and increase our joint advocacy as our organization continues to develop our foundation. This Day of Advocacy served as a reminder of the power of the Jesuit network: even during difficult times, we are able to find comfort and strength in one another through our shared identity.