Tech student responds to DACA: "This is all we know, this is our

Tech student responds to DACA: "This is all we know, this is our home"

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Christopher Ponce is a Texas Tech student and said eliminating DACA could shatter all the sacrifices and efforts he and his family have made to get this far. He is a pre-med math major with a chemistry and biology minor, and has lived in the U.S. since he was four years old.  

"This is what I have grown up to know. Texas, the United States, and this is where I think I belong," said Ponce.

He said he has never considered himself any different from his classmates and friends, but he soon realized there were limitations to what he could do.

"Once I got into high school and I started looking into colleges and universities that's when I started to realize, wait hold on I can't go where I wanted to go," Ponce said. "I am limited on what I can do. Like FAFSA, I didn't qualify for FAFSA because of my status. How's that going to affect me and that's when it really set in. Wait a minute, I'm undocumented I cant do all the things I wanted to do."

Ponce's opportunity to attend college materialized in 2012 when DACA became an option, and that opened several doors . He became an undergraduate scholar from Texas Tech's center for STEM research.  

"Thanks to that opportunity I was able to start my breast cancer research and I've been doing that for three years now thanks to the funding that I get as an employee for the cancer research," Ponce said. "I've been able to travel across the United States to states like California and even Washington D.C. to present my research my cancer research and share that with other professionals."

Ponce on track to graduate in May 2018 and said wants to go to medical school to be an oncologist. He said all his hard work should not be in vain. 

"It's not fair because we are doing everything we can," Ponce said. "We are sincere, genuine people and we just want to keep doing the best not only for our family, but for this country, because a lot of us were raised here and this is all we know, this our home." 

Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec released the following letter after the announcement from the Trump administration:

"Texas Tech University is a diverse and inclusive institution of higher learning that promotes and fosters support for all students, including those enrolled under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policies.

During this past academic year, leadership from the Texas Tech University System and each of four component institutions came together to plan how we could enhance our support of those on our campus designated as DACA beneficiaries. The goals and objectives of those discussions were guided by two principles: we will always follow federal and state laws, and we will continue to promote our institutional missions of diversity and inclusion by providing a supportive and welcoming environment for all students.

With today’s announcement regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program I want to bring to your attention resources offered through the Dream Center, located within the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. In particular, a list of support services can be found atwww.depts.ttu.edu/diversity/drc.php.

Beyond awareness of the specific support services provided through the Dream Center, it is important that Texas Tech’s DACA students know that each is a welcomed and valued member of the Texas Tech family. During the coming months, I will work with the TTU System and other leaders of higher education in encouraging Congress to enact legislation that would allow these students the opportunity to continue their education."

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