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Protesters call for SDSU to offer more resources to undocumented students

Students called for SDSU to create a center for undocumented students. The university currently only has a

Students called for SDSU to create a center for undocumented students. The university currently only has a "resource area" for undocumented students — staffed only by one person.

Weicheng Han

Weicheng Han

Students called for SDSU to create a center for undocumented students. The university currently only has a "resource area" for undocumented students — staffed only by one person.

by David Santillan, Social Media Editor

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Two student activist groups demonstrated at San Diego State on Monday, both advocating for the university to provide undocumented students with more resources.

“No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here,” chanted members and supporters of the SDSU chapter of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán as they marched to the steps of Manchester Hall.

The March 5 deadline for ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program came and went, but Congress’s failure to replace the program left many anxious and worried. This prompted some students at SDSU to protest while urging university officials to turn their school into a sanctuary campus and create a new resource center for undocumented students.

Child development senior Ana Hernandez spoke during the rally, voicing her concerns over what she said is lack of leadership from university officials on issues affecting undocumented students.

“We’re here, we’re lacking and we’re suffering,” Hernandez said after the rally. “Am I not important? Am I not part of the student body?”

Hernandez’s frustrations stem partly because other universities, like CSU Fullerton and CSU Los Angeles, have full resource centers while SDSU only has an “area” with a staff of one.

“We see other schools that have their (undocumented resource) center and they’re so well-established,” Hernandez said.

Sociology senior Sandy Ayala expressed concern over the possibility of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers entering the campus.  

“We need a sanctuary campus for students to be safe and navigate their classes safely.”

Across campus, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality chapter also rallied to advocate the protection of students under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.

Mechanical engineering senior and IYSSE president Anthony Delgado said they had originally planned on a joint protest with MEChA, but those plans dissolved after MEChA learned that the IYSSE was planning on using the protest as an endorsement platform for Kevin Mitchell, a congressional candidate from the Socialist Equality Party.

“We support the intentions of MEChA,” Delgado said, “but where we differ is our political outlook.”

Delgado said that asking for a sanctuary campus won’t change things for undocumented students.

“California is technically a sanctuary state, but in the past two weeks there’s been an unprecedented amount of ICE raids in the bay area,” Delgado said, referencing the ICE raids that targeted agricultural regions in California.

ICE officials confirmed that the operation led to the arrest of 232 individuals.

“We need a DREAM Act and we need it now,” Ayala said.

Interdisciplinary senior and SDSU MEChA chapter president Daisy Ramirez, hopes that starting talks now with the university administration will make it easier for new president Adela de la Torre to work with their chapter once she fully transitions in the fall.

“She has freely talked about being in favor of all students having access to this campus, regardless of (their immigration) status,” Ramirez said. “We’re hoping that with (the new) administration we can have a conversation.”

Dean of Student Affairs Randy Timm, who was present at the rally, mentioned some of the demands MEChA formally outlined in a letter to the university’s administration.

“They’ve made some requests for a lawyer,” Timm said, “They’ve (also) requested a meeting with our interim president Sally Roush.”

Timm said that he will be working to figure out which demands President Roush can address directly.

For the time being, federal judges have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to continue renewing DACA permits beyond the March 5 deadline, giving congress more time to plan a replacement program, but with no solution in sight.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Protesters call for SDSU to offer more resources to undocumented students”

  1. Lupe Gomez on March 7th, 2018 9:10 pm

    I’m 4th generation Hispanic and I worked my way thru SDSU back in 80’s. I am raising a family and hope one of my children go to SDSU but the costs have gone up so high. I resent that resources now will go somewhere else and thus tuition will rise for my children. Enough of this me, me, me stuff and let’s hold costs down so hard working people can go to University.

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