Toreros rally in support of DACA

Over 40 USD students participated in the Clean Dream Act rally held at Luz Duran Park in Vista. Photo courtesy of Krystal Alvarez

Over 40 USD community members participated at a rally in Vista to pass Clean Dream Act

Lilyana Espinoza | News Editor | The USD Vista


This past Saturday, organizers rallied at Luz Duran Park in Vista to protest a second time for the Clean Dream Act. Thirty-six University of San Diego students took a bus to a park that was 45 minutes away from campus. There were at least nine other students who arrived on their own, but for over four hours they all actively participated to help inform the public about the Clean Dream Act.

Passage of a Clean Dream Act would  protect immigrant youth and give them a clear path to citizenship.

First-year Deja Butler gave her reasons for spending her Saturday at a rally  to defend the Clean Dream Act.

“No one should have to leave a country that they were brought to,” Butler said. “They work just as hard as anyone else here, they deserve to be here, and I don’t feel that anyone, not Donald Trump or the government, should be able to take them away from this country.”

The rally was meant to encourage congressional support for the Clean Dream Act, and more specifically for Congressman Darrell Issa, the representative of the Vista District, to vote on Dec. 8 in favor of a Clean Dream Act.

David Trujillo, Advocacy Director of the San Diego American Civil Liberties Union, talked about why passing DACA should be in everyone’s interest.

Rallygoers share their stories of why DACA is important to them and why Congress should pass the Clean Dream Act. Lilyana Espinoza/The USD Vista

“This is a bipartisan issue,” Trujillo said. “Regardless of parties you want these DACA recipients to remain, to have protection, and you want the Dream Act to pass.”

Trujillo recently became a U.S. citizen back in May and said he was happy to have so many people come out to support the cause.

“It’s great to see so many young people involved advocating for their rights and advocating for their neighbors’ rights,” Trujillo said.

Junior Ayodeji Bandele, before coming to Luz Duran Park, woke up at 7:45 a.m. to drive to Palomar College and give a presentation to a room of local DACA recipients and families on why this issue is so important to him.

“I gave a presentation about why I wanted to be an ally, how I got involved, and what it means to me to support my neighbors,” Bandele said. “It is what you do.”

Bandele further explained why his actions did not stop at Palomar College, because he then traveled  to Luz Duran Park for the rally.

“It’s about showing solidarity, support, and doing what you can do,” Bandele said. “Obviously there is a limited effect in just showing your body, but you need to have the people here know that you care about them and will show up when they need you. That’s what being in a community is about. The way we can show that is action, showing up, being there, and I’m prepared to do that.”

The first few hours of the event consisted of going out into the community and interacting with the voters who have an influence on passing the Dream Act.

USD students marched from the streets to the protest, chanting for the safety of DACA. Lilyana Espinoza/The USD Vista

Sophomore Elia Aguirre explained what she did during the time before the rally took place.

“We just spent most of the day canvassing,” Aguirre said. “We were going from door to door, leaving pamphlets and information, speaking to registered voters in the community, and asking them to please call their representative to press them to give support on this very important issue. This is to make sure we have a clean path to citizenship for undocumented youth.”

In order to increase visibility of the event, rallygoers stood on the corners of streets and held signs to lead people to the rally and at times answered questions from bypassers about DACA.

First-year Alanah Winston was part of the group that participated in visibility.

“We walked up the street to a very busy intersection and we all covered the four corners,” Winston said. “We had our posters and our chants and we basically wanted to advertise for passing the Clean Dream Act. We wanted to get the attention of the congressman, Issa, so that he would know this is what his people want. We had a couple people come ask us questions about it so we were able to really explain, help them understand, and encourage them to get involved.”

Dr. Juliana Maxim, Architecture Program Director, professor, and an immigrant herself, was also a participant at the Clean Dream Act rally.

“I feel very personally about the right of all human beings to a safe harbor without fear of deportation and with full human rights including not only safety but housing, healthcare, employment, and happiness,” Maxim said. “That is enshrined in our Constitution.”

Fifteen minutes before the rally, a line of USD students held signs and chanted as they walked back from standing on street corners to show their support.

Once the time for the rally came, at least 300 people gathered around a podium to hear stories of those affected from fear of deportation. There were tears shed, inspirational stories told, and a community that stood together in support of the same cause.

Students are taking action to show their support for the passing of a Clean Dream Act and will continue to do so until March. It is in March when Congress will make their final decision on the issue of DACA.

Rallygoers support the Clean Dream Act. Lilyana Espinoza/The USD Vista