When hundreds of students wearing white shirts filled the Plaza on Nov. 14, they came to rally in support of undocumented students. Though one of the largest campus rallies of the year, the event was hosted by a group early in its conception: Dreamer’s United.
The plaza filled with hundreds of students wearing white shirts on Nov. 14 for a rally hosted by Dreamers United to show support for undocumented students.
Anarely Marquez-Gomez, the Media Relations Chair of Dreamers United, explained that the organization started as a way to bring together undocumented students.
“Our co-founders, Brittany Gutierrez and Victor Fuentes Sangabriel, realized there really isn’t a place for undocumented students to come together and talk about their common experiences,” Marquez-Gomez said.
Dreamers United became an official student organization in the Spring 2017 semester, though it started during the Fall 2016 semester. The organization did not seek to an official status to protect the identities of other undocumented students.
“It was really word of mouth because it is such a sensitive issue, and we don’t want the information getting out to people who are going to be against us,” Marquez-Gomez said.
Marquez-Gomez said the group’s faculty advisor, Elias Quiñonez, who works with the ASSET Students and undocumented students on campus, was able to tell more students about the organization which brought in more members.
Although Dreamers United hosted the ‘To Immigrants With Love’ event following President Donald Trump’s travel ban order, Marquez-Gomez said the event was not a response to it.
“We had been planning the event before the refugee ban came into place, but once (it) came into place, we saw how important it was to have that,” Marquez-Gomez said. “The message that had been politically sent out was that we didn’t belong and that as an immigrant, we weren’t wanted. It wasn’t intended to be political by any means. It was meant to show the human side of things and share some positivity”
Marquez-Gomez said Dreamers United is not a political organization, and the group is not affiliated with any political party. The goal of the group is to provide a support network for undocumented students or for students who might have families that are undocumented.
“This isn’t about politics. We don’t identify as a left group or a right group,” Marquez-Gomez said. “It really is just about the human side of things, and we’re really just trying to bring awareness on campus about issues that do face undocumented students on campus without making it (a) political agenda of ‘us versus them.'”
Collegian reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.