Fear of DACA deportation heightens on the SOU campus

(KTVL/ Kimberly Kolliner)

The house passes a temporary government-wide funding bill that will stall a decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and avert a government shutdown.

While this vote ties the government over until February 16th, there's no telling what will happen after that.

Two bipartisan deals struck in the house and senate have been shut down by the president already - it's what has some Southern Oregon University staff and students on edge.

"That's going to be a really weird thing, waking up one day and realizing one of my friends just isn't answering his phone anymore," said Matthew Fischer, an SOU senior.

The fear of DACA student deportation is becoming a very real fear on the SOU campus.

"One of our contingency plans come out of a meeting that our president had last fall with the rector and secretary general of the University of Guanajuato," said Joe Mosley, the SOU spokesman.

Their sister university in Mexico has offered to take in any students who may be told they're not welcome anymore.

Fischer says it's a kind gesture, but one that couldn't possibly compensate for the loss of an education in the states.

"It's beautiful to hear people actually trying to make good in this world but for me, to be asked to move back to Hungary and to go finish my education there, would be to say everything I learned about public law and politics in this country would default to nothing," said Fischer.

It's why SOU faulty like spokesman Mosley, who actually once walked this campus as a student, say they are standing by their DACA students.

"They've overcome a lot in their lives already so I'm sure it would be a tremendous accomplishment for them to graduate," said Mosley.

However, President Trump is asking for something in return - $18 billion to build a border wall.

Thursday morning, he tweeted, “…if there is no wall there is no deal.”

Fischer says he laughs at the demand.

"First off, 78 percent of the immigrants that come to this country come over planes. People aren't breaking down walls to get here," said Fischer.

He also says it's not something to strip student opportunity over.

"To go and target people who are coming to this country for a better life and say that they're not worthy of working hard and earning something, something that they had no control over, they didn't choose to come here, that was something their family made a choice to do. To negate that and say you don't have a chance here is just sad," said Fischer.

According to a recent CBS poll, nearly nine out of ten Americans are in favor of allowing DACA recipients to stay in the U.S.

And while most Americans oppose the construction of a border wall, seven out of ten Republicans are for it.

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