Student protesters at Arizona State University took to the campus Student Pavilion Thursday to show their support for a trio of University of Arizona students facing penalties for disrupting a United States Border Patrol presentation.
The protesters also voiced their displeasure at the BP’s presence at a university career fair, something which also had irked students at their neighboring school, due to the “threat” the agents allegedly pose to migrant students.
According to The State Press, Emily Torres, who’s majoring in — wait for it — Transborder Chicanx and Latinx Studies and Global Studies, said “My friend found out they were on campus and she started crying. It’s a fear that we shouldn’t have to face on a college campus.”
That wasn’t the only thing which miffed the demonstrators; when ASU police showed up merely to make sure things didn’t get out of hand (as there were some counter-protesters in attendance), the anti-Border Patrol activists whined that the cops’ presence made them “uncomfortable.”
— Vandana Ravikumar (@vandana_rav) April 4, 2019
John Adamson, a freshman majoring in political science and a member of [Young Democratic Socialists of America], explained that those two students were on the minds of the ASU protestors, who held up signs with phrases like “solidarity with U of A” and “free Denisse and free Mariel.”
“Sun Devils and Wildcats don’t usually get along, but when you see something like that happen… it comes around to that same state, same kind of things, affect us all,” Adamson said. “It’s good to stand up for people who were arrested just doing their civic duty.”
One protester said that even though the agents were on campus to recruit students for jobs and not specifically to patrol, their presence alone felt antagonistic toward undocumented students.
“Just even seeing cops, you feel your heart race when you’re undocumented,” said Vic, an undocumented student and junior majoring in urban planning who spoke to the State Press under the condition that her full name is withheld due to her immigration status.
“Other students see cops on campus, just parked in their cars hanging out, and are like ‘oh, I’m safe,'” she said. “But for undocumented students, it just feels that much more dangerous and knowing that they’re armed in their cars and that they’re ready to go, and that the have the ability to arrest you, because ASU is not a sanctuary school. It’s really stressful.”
Another “studies” major said that the “ideal response” from the university would be for ASU President Michael Crow to address the demonstrators personally, apologize, and promise the Border Patrol never comes back to campus. At one point, the protesters chanted “Hey hey, ho ho, Michael Crow has got to go!”