University of Houston students rally to avoid deportation when DACA expires

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The University of Houston's Youth Empowerment Alliance are asking UH faculty for support and protection for its undocumented students, who fear deportation when DACA expires in March.

The students could be heard chanting, "Up up with education, down down with deportation," after meeting with administrators Monday.

Maria Trevino-Rodriguez is a junior at UH and vice president of Y.E.A.

"A lot of us are frustrated. It seems like they want to throw around the word diversity, they want to say that they're supporting their students, but we don't necessarily see concrete actions being taken," Trevino-Rodriguez said.

After what leaders are calling yet another unsuccessful meeting with faculty they're ready to turn things up a notch.

"Unfortunately we're going to have to pressure them in a different way now. We'll have to inform our fellow classmates about what us as students are facing today so that they understand the urgency of the problem," Trevino-Rodriguez said.

Both the President and Vice President of the student-lead organization are undocumented themselves. For them, time is running out.

"I came to the United States when I was 7 years old. I am a Mexican citizen and I've lived here for 15 years," Y.E.A President, Maria Gonzalez-Trevino said.

Not being able to graduate from the place they call home is just not an option.

"This is extremely personal to me. I've given them my money and I've dedicated my time here. We find that the University of Houston has a specific power in ensuring that undocumented students don't lose their opportunity for a higher education, simply because of their citizenship status," Trevino-Rodriguez said.

The University of Houston says it will continue having an ongoing dialogue with the community on how to resolve this issue.


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