Bake sale raises funds for DACA renewals

Stephanie Adeline

University Democrats sold baked goods Monday to raise funds for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, many of whom face renewal fees in the coming weeks.

Because of President Donald Trump’s plan to rescind DACA, current program recipients have to pay about $500 to renew their DACA status before the Oct. 5 deadline, after which no more applications will be accepted.

Andrew Herrera, community director of University Democrats, said they are raising money to support the population of DACA recipients who attend UT.

“This is an extremely vulnerable group on campus and we need to do our best to try and advocate for them where we can,” government sophomore Herrera said.

Herrera said the tight deadline to renew the application is unreasonable.

“We have to get these funds organized as soon as possible,” Herrera said. “People were given a disgustingly quick turnaround time that they have to come up with the money for these things.”

University Democrats Secretary Allie Runas said the idea for the bake sale started when Pedro Villalobos, UT alumnus and former University Democrats member, asked them to contribute to a fundraising drive by the Equal Justice Center, an Austin nonprofit law firm. Villalobos said the fundraising project has raised about $35,000 since it began on Sept. 8.

Electrical and computer engineering junior Runas said she is happy with how supportive the UT community has been in donating to DACA recipients.

“People are just actually donating and not even taking cookies so that we have more cookies to sell,” Runas said. “It’s really awesome when you have a wave of people waiting to buy eleven bars from you just to support DACA kids.”

Government sophomore Lucas Lee, who bought baked goods at the sale, said the DACA bake sale tackles an important national issue.

“It is fighting back against something that is institutionalized,” Lee said. “(What Trump did) is unnecessary and it’s profiling.”

The University Democrats will continue to sell baked goods to support DACA recipients every Monday on the West Mall. Although they don’t have a specific target donation amount, they want to support as many applicants as possible.

“Obviously we’re not going to fund one kid in one day, but that would be nice if we could,” Runas said. “It’s just a small chip in all the fundraising efforts that we’re going do.”