On Monday, dozens of Nevada State College (NSC) students and several faculty walked out and gathered outside the Rogers Student Center in support of DACA students. They walked out to urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act to provide permanent legal protection for Nevada’s DACA recipients, and to reassure DREAMer students that the NSC community will continue to support them.
The calm after Arpaio’s storm
Just 48 hours after Former Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio headlined the Conservative Leadership Conference awards dinner at Las Vegas Country Club, NSC students and faculty walked out to deliver a very different message. After Arpaio rallied the troops to continue supporting Donald Trump, the NSC community came together to urge Congress to reaffirm their support for DACA-mented Nevadans… And the DREAM Act to ensure neither Trump nor any other President can ever revoke their legal protection again.
People took to the streets to write inspirational chalk messages for DREAMers. They then walked over to a station where faculty and the students from the Writing Center collected letters to Congress in support of the DREAM Act.
Nevada State College students and faculty walk out and hold a rally in support of #DACA-mented students on campus.
Posted by Nevada Forward on Monday, September 18, 2017
“All of us came together to make sure that the DACA students at Nevada State College feel protected.”
– Alyssa Cortes, NSC Student
Alyssa Cortes is a student worker at the NSC Writing Center. As a U.S. citizen, she feels a responsibility to speak up for DREAMers and lobby Senator Dean Heller (R) to support the DREAM Act. “It’s unfortunate that Dean Heller is not supporting a path to citizenship for DREAMers. […] That’s very concerning.” She and her Writing Center colleagues were helping others prepare letters to Heller, a key swing vote on the DREAM Act. (So far, Heller has only endorsed the BRIDGE Act to provide more limited protection to a smaller number of DREAMers).
Why does Cortes feel the need to speak out? “Unfortunately, there’s fear and anxiety [on campus].” Cortes and others at NSC participated in this walk-out to send a clear message of love and acceptance to her fellow students. “All of us came together to make sure that the DACA students at Nevada State College feel protected, that they know they have a safe space on campus.”
“Love is love. […] That’s the greater truth. If we believe in that, we can not be silent.”
– Professor Andy Kuniyuki, NSC
Professor Andy Kuniyuki teaches biology at NSC, and he serves as the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He had a simple message for everyone: “We are one human family. […] That goes further than any national identities we impose on each other.”
Kuniyuki cited the Bible and mitochondrial DNA science in explaining how love and respect for the greater human family supersedes debates over how many people can be spared in exchange for border wall construction. “Love is love. […] That’s the greater truth. If we believe in that, we can not be silent.” He reminded us that DREAMers are undocumented for no fault of their own, then asked why they should be punished for something that’s not even a criminal offense.
When asked about Joe Arpaio’s semi-surprise of a visit to Nevada, Kuniyuki extended an invitation to him and to other anti-immigrant activists to meet the people they malign so often and engage in dialogue. “Learn about these things. […] Have a dialogue with us. We are very happy to share.”