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4 NEWS SANTA ANA COLLEGE el Don/eldonnews.org • MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2017 ASSEMBLY / Hundreds of protestors flock to the Civic Center Plaza Sept. 5, wielding signs, flags and messages of hope. SANTA ANA JOINS NATION IN DACA PROTEST Orange County citizens took to the streets after the Trump administration ended the popular program. STORY BY TIMOTHY BRAVO PHOTOS BY CARLOS DUARTE Marching down the streets of downtown Santa Ana Sept. 5, Luis Ramirez, a member of Orange County Immigrant Youth United, would not back down. With a megaphone clutched in his right hand and an army behind him, he led sea of protesters who fl ooded the streets with banners, music and chants decrying the Trump administration’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — a program that pro- tects almost 800,000 people who were brought to the United States illegally as children. OCIYU, an advocacy organi- zation led by undocumented immigrant youth, organized the rally aft er Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced DACA recip- ients would have to renew their protected status by Oct. 5. Th e march is only one part of the massive local opposition against President Trump, with the city, business owners, education offi cials and the Santa Ana com- munity rallying to empower the region’s undocumented. “We know there are people who are afraid. It is okay for people to be afraid. What is not okay is for people to not be active at whatever level they can,” said Ramirez, a DACA recipient since the pro- gram started in 2012. “It is the time to take action. If you want something to change — defend all 11 million that are undocumented in this country — you need to step out.” DACA recipients, also known as “Dreamers,” were protected from deportation for two years, and could then apply to renew their status. Approved immigrants are also eligible to attend school and receive authorization to work. Over 90 percent of Dreamers are currently employed and almost 45 percent are still in school, ac- cording to data by the think tank Center for American Progress. “DACA allowed me to work while I was studying, which was the only reason I was able to study. It allowed me to contribute to my family’s income when my father was our primary provider,” said Jose Servin, the media and com- munications organizer for OCIYU and a Santa Ana College alumnus. [Full disclosure: Servin was a for- mer el Don editor-in-chief.] In a statement released in early September by Santa Ana Col- lege President Linda Rose and the Rancho Santiago Commu- nity College District’s Board of Trustees, the college reaffi rmed a March resolution that pledged support for students regardless of immigration status, national origin or religion. Th e statement included promises that the district would not allow federal immigra- tion offi cers on RSCCD campuses, share student records regarding immigration and citizenship status with immigration offi cials or help create a registry based on characteristics such as religion, race or sexual orientation. “Th e Rancho Santiago Commu- nity College District, Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College remain deeply commit- ted to each and every one of our students and to creating a safe and secure educational environment,” read the resolution. Undocumented students are an active community at SAC, apply- • NEXT PAGE BY THE NUMBERS 690,000 undocumented immigrants were enrolled in DACA by Sept. 4. 24 years old — the average age of immigrants enrolled in DACA. 548,000 DACA recipients come from Mexico, the top country of origin.