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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Panel to attempt to raise awareness of undocumented student population

Attendees of a panel Wednesday will have the opportunity to be exposed to stories told by undocumented students at A&M.

First started in the fall of 2011, the panel will be hosted by the A&M Council for Minority Student Affairs. Four or five students are expected to give their accounts on their immigration status struggles and how they have affected their education. At the end of their stories, audience members will have the opportunity to ask the panelists questions.

In 2001,  President Barack Obama and his administration enacted an executive action called the “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act,” or the DREAM Act, that provided relief from deportation for people under the age of 16 who had not committed a crime and had been living in the United States for five years. The eligible beneficiaries of this act are known as DREAMers.

Melanie Garza, president of CMSA, said although as of late there have not been direct attacks on the immigrant community at A&M, the rhetoric at the national level in politics has been bringing the immigrant population under scrutiny.

“We have seen a decline of people wanting to come out of the shadows and get involved with the community and things that affect them, so we wanted to bring this event back,” Garza said. “We want to bring awareness to the struggles that these students face that other students do not face. Overall, we want to stress that this is not a political issue, but a humanitarian issue.”

Brenda Vazquez, international studies junior and secretary of CMSA, said the organization wants to show as much difference in perspective as possible in the panel, so different levels of education will be represented, from freshmen to graduate students.

“People have misconceptions on undocumented people,” Vazquez said. “As a DREAMer myself, I feel that with this event we can show our struggles and show a different perspective.”

Cinthia Cruz, a participant in the panel and business sophomore, was born in Mexico. She crossed the border into the United States at the age of 10 and will tell her story at Wednesday’s panel.

“I want people to know how hard we try to be where we are. We want to be a motivation for people who are under certain circumstances,” Cruz said. “I want people to be informed about our community and show everybody out there that we are all in the Aggie family, but with different backgrounds.”

The student panel will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Rudder Tower room 401.
 

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