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“This is how I spread the word”: Sophomore uses Friday seminars to teach peers about DACA and immigration

Gabe Chang-Deutsch, Staff Writer

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Gabe Chang-Deutsch
Tiger Worku (left) leading a seminar on DACA and immigration, with Jose Aragon. In the end, Worku hoped “that this is just a start of something that will go on for a long time. This is how I spread the word so people know what’s going on and I’m not in this fight alone.”

This Friday, 200 students filed into the auditorium to hear about changes in DACA — or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — in a seminar led by sophomore Tiger Worku. Sophomore Tiger Worku thought a Friday seminar, in which students are taught by another student, would be a perfect way for students to learn about this issue. He decided to do a seminar because he said “I’ve always been fighting for social justice and my ideology is if it affects one of us, it affects all of us.”

Since 2012, 800,000 undocumented young people, predominantly from Central and South America, have been using DACA to gain benefits such as a work permit and not being deported. In October, Trump decided to end the program, for he felt it gave unearned benefits to people who had “come here the wrong way.”

Worku began the seminar with an Obama speech about immigration. In 2014, Obama began his speech, which was about the importance of defending and expanding DACA, by saying, “Today, our immigration system is broken.” Worku agreed with this: “Immigrants are a part of American Life,” he told me. In this speech, Obama laid out his reasons for expanding the DACA program. Many of these reasons hinged on immigrants contributions to american civil, social, political and entrepreneurial life. But since the seminar had began a little late, Worku decided to end it the Obama speech after 5 minutes.

In a move towards inclusivity, Worku asked Jose Aragon to translate the seminar in Spanish. That way, Spanish speaking students could have more access to information about DACA and it’s effects on our community.

Students had many reasons for coming to the seminar and reactions. Sophomore Chris Aguilar Dominguez came because he “want(ed) to learn about DACA and the effects if its gone.” He felt that while, “it’s important to talk about DACA in school so there’s a voice that can advocate for them (undocumented immigrants),” the format of Friday seminars wasn’t perfect.

“Some people are missing class and some people can’t miss class to come here.” Aguilar Dominguez thought that since the seminar is during class, it limited how many people could understand the issue.

Freshman Andrew Njogu attended because “Donald Trump is kinda not cool with immigration and I wanted to see what to say.”

After the Obama speech, there was a question and answer period. In this, many students asked the best in which they could help undocumented people in the South High community. In response, Worku said “I think education about their rights [in relationship to ICE and other immigration authorities] and protests are the best ways to help.” As an additional part of the seminar, a “Know Your Rights” poster from the ACLU was read on stage. These rights included not opening the door without a warrant, not speaking and more.

In the end, Worku hoped “that this is just a start of something that will go on for a long time. This is how I spread the word so people know what’s going on and I’m not in this fight alone.”

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The South High School student news site
“This is how I spread the word”: Sophomore uses Friday seminars to teach peers about DACA and immigration