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UCLA Student-led Forum Addresses Concerns of Undocumented Students

Students at UCLA convened together to discuss the plights and concerns of undocumented students

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Approximately 300 students convened at a student-led forum for an evening dedicated to enhancing the UCLA community’s awareness about the various obstacles undocumented students encounter on Monday evening.

UCLA students enrolled in a labor and workforce course collaborated with UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) department and the Dream Resource Center (DRC) in coordinating the “Immigration Forum: Students Speak Out!” event. The course’s curriculum is concentrated on the concerns of the immigrant rights movement and is instructed by Maria Ignacia Rodriguez, one of UCLA’s first undocumented students to graduate from the university’s School of Law.

In a statement to The Daily Bruin, the director of the UCLA Labor Center Kent Wong stated that the event was organized to coincide with the White House’s intended deadline to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has since instituted a federal court order that temporarily extends the operations of DACA for another six months, permitting DACA beneficiaries to apply for status renewals as the courts evaluate lawsuits challenging the discontinuation of DACA.

Elected government representatives, faculty members and student leaders were invited to lead and facilitate the conversation regarding immigration misconceptions and how student activists can contribute to raising public consciousness about immigration issues. Guest speakers reportedly aroused the audience’s participation levels as they led spontaneous chants of “this is what democracy looks like” and “student power.”

Several UCLA department-affiliated twitter accounts were actively live-tweeting poignant moments and quotes of guest speakers throughout the event with the hashtag #UndocumentedUnafraid.

The event also exhibited performances from UCLA student dance communities Grupo Folklorico de UCLA and Night of Cultura at UCLA.

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Rachel is a senior at UCLA majoring in Art History

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