Nightmare for DREAMers: UVa Refuses to Guarantee DACA Students Protection From Deportation

    Photo courtesy of Ian Ware

    Three days following the presidential election, students concerned about the future of their undocumented peers held a demonstration outside of the Rotunda with the hope that President Sullivan and her staff would respond with policy initiatives that would guard against the deportation of DACA students. According to third year Paola Sanchez, the President of DREAMers On Grounds, a meeting was successfully scheduled between DREAMers and President Sullivan as a result of the protest. The meeting itself, however, was not successful.

    “The meeting with Teresa Sullivan — it was really upsetting,” Sanchez lamented.

    “She wants to wait until DACA is actually repealed [before she takes action].”

    Chief Student Affairs Officer Susan Davis organized an info-session for the 29 DACA students at UVa, but many, including Sanchez, were unimpressed.

    “It wasn’t helpful at all — we still have no closure,” Sanchez remarked.

    Sullivan had allegedly told Sanchez that she would talk to UVa’s chief police officer Michael Gibson about the protections law enforcement can and can’t offer DACA students, but failed to follow through.

    “She said she’d get back to us,” Sanchez said.

    “She has not gotten back to us.”

    While they wait for the administration to take the needs of undocumented students and works seriously, DREAMers have been hosting their own info-sessions on the rights of DACA students and undocumented workers. On November 29, they invited two immigration attorneys to lead this discussion. They will hold a similar session in the near future with members of Charlottesville’s Legal Aid Justice Center.


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