Small group protests outside of Trident Technical College today

A group of people protested outside of Trident Technical College this morning over what some are calling a lack of compliance in regards to recent changes in national immigration policy.

An executive order signed last year by President Barack Obama allows those who entered the country illegally as children to remain and work without fear of deportation for at least two years. It has been referred to as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Those who applied last year were granted temporary live-and-work status without fear of deportation, according to Diana Salazar, founder of the Latino Association of Charleston.

Salazar said Trident Tech was not allowing students who had been granted temporary status through the act to register for classes. She said she was aware of five students who tried to register but were turned away.

School leaders said their understanding of the law ties their hands because they believe they’re required to abide by the state law, which does not allow the students who are not U.S. citizens to register.

“We want to be the place of opportunity for all students who want to improve their lives through education and training. However, we have no choice when it comes to complying with state and federal law,” said Dr. Mary Thornley, Trident Tech’s president.

In Washington today, President Obama is holding meetings at the White House with labor leaders and progressive leaders. He is also expected to meet with a number of CEOs from across industries “to discuss his commitment to getting a bipartisan bill passed in 2013 and how immigration reform fits within his broader agenda for economic growth and competitiveness,” according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

Read more in tomorrow’s edition of the Post and Courier.

Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or

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