Local News

'This is my home': Hundreds call on UNC to help protect undocumented immigrants

Posted September 18

— The future of hundreds of thousands of people is up in the air less than two weeks after the White House rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA.

Monday night, about 300 people gathered on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus to ask the university to take a stand against the White House and protect undocumented residents, including some who were willing to risk it all.

Rubi Franco was just six years old when her parents paid a stranger to drive her and her two young siblings across the Mexican border with the promise that they would meet them on the other side. She says it’s the price they paid to flee the violence and give their kids a better life.

“It’s very easy for them to judge my family and judge me, not being in our shoes,” Franco said.

Franco, 21, is now a senior at UNC. She was one of the panelists speaking Monday night at an information session about the importance of DACA.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump announced the end of DACA, a program that protected immigrant youth from deportation and gave them the right to legally live and work in the United States.

“We all feel for those who came here or were brought here without their willingness or understanding that this was going to happen. We all heave a heavy heart for that, but we also have to understand that the United States is a country of laws,” said Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Organizers of Monday’s event at UNC called on the university to protect the undocumented.

“People talk about DACA like 800,000 individuals, but this is about families and communities,” said organize Barbara Sostaita.

For Franco, remaining in the U.S. is about fulfilling her parents dream. She said they’ve applied for visas three times, but were rejected.

Without DACA, Franco will be undocumented and unable to use her degree.

“This is my home. I would love to be a medical social worker,” she said.

Ron Stauss, the executive vice provost at UNC, announced that they have put together a task force to deal with the issue. The first meeting will be Friday and the group plans to come back with a report on a plan to make campus better for undocumented students in early December.

10 Comments

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  • John Johnson Sep 22, 11:23 a.m.
    user avatar

    Choices. They Knew they Were Illegal And Did "Nothing". Why Didn't They Apply for Citizenship!? Not Important!! Their Choice! A Honest Person Would Have Choose Citizenship, A Criminal Wont. Choices.. Illegal. Deport!! Their Choices, Not Anyone Elses!!

  • Amy Whaley Sep 19, 6:00 p.m.
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    View quoted thread


    I

    I read some of these comments and I can hear my grandma claiming if she could buy him for what his worth and sell him for what he thought he was worth, she could retire.

  • Robert Swiger Sr. Sep 19, 2:28 p.m.
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    View quoted thread


    scott why don't you House all the illegal and then when the criminal element of the illegal robs you let me know how you feel. Not all illegals are criminals but if they want to stay they should do it legally.

  • Betsy Riggins Sep 19, 1:34 p.m.
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    I'm sure a lot of the immigrants are great people who could improve our communities BUT they need to follow the rules. Being in the country for a long time should not generate more sympathy but should raise the question why have they not done anything to legalize their status during that time? I think these meetings, organizers and news stories should focus on the immigration procedures and how to live in this country legally not changing the law to accommodate decades of law breakers.

    The speed limit isn't raised if everyone drives too fast in an area, it is patrolled more often.

  • Eugene Irene Sep 19, 11:36 a.m.
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    Being kind and compassionate to kids brought here is one thing but that compassion need not be extended to immediate or extended families as many on the left desire. Adults broke the law and are therefore illegal.

  • Jerry Sawyer Sep 19, 10:15 a.m.
    user avatar

    It is simple. The left wants the USA to become a socialist state. They hate our capitalist system of government. We will die from within. God help us.

  • James Hicks Sep 19, 8:29 a.m.
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    Scott if you are breaking dozens of laws everyday then you should be in prison. Also, if you prefer to have them as neighbors, why are you still here? There's a whole corrupt, murderous third world nation just waiting to kidnap you, cut your fingers off, and hold you for ransom just on the other side of that southern border. I don't think anyone is holding you here.

    You see, the problem isn't immigration. It's illegal immigration and the fact they don't want to immigrate, they want to turn the US of A into another s#@thole just like the one they left. If they are such a boon to the economy, and do all those jobs we don't want to, then why couldn't they help their own economy?

  • Kristine Hughes Sep 19, 6:17 a.m.
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    As an American citizen, I have to follow all laws or I will get in trouble. So why do folks feel that illegal immigrants should be above our laws and be allowed to stay.
    In our constitution it states that we have the right to remove anyone who is here illegally in our country. So if you want to be here, get a green card and work towards getting your citizenship.

  • Ed Smail Sep 19, 5:33 a.m.
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    They are not undocumented. They are in this country illegally, use the correct semantics. "Illegal alien". Before any type of amnesty is given to these illegal aliens, congress must to pass e-verify, the Immigration for a Competitive America Act of 2016, H.R. 5398, and secure the border.

  • Jeffrey Derry Sep 18, 10:48 p.m.
    user avatar

    They are citizens of other countries....what about the potential immigrants who follow the law....undocumented immigrants or illegals? WRAL panders