Border Patrol on UA Campus Causes a Debate on Freedom of Speech

Ariela, Fresh Face Editor

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On March 20, the U.S. Border Patrol was invited to the University of Arizona campus for a career day event. This sparked a series of campus discussions, a few arrests, and protests.  Several Mexican American and DACA students (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) aka DREAMERS, students who were brought to this country as young children who don’t have legal status but are now protected by this program, feel very strongly about immigration issues and think the Border Patrol is a big part of the problem.

When some of the protesting student saw the Border Patrol in the hallway after the event, they started yelling at them to leave campus because the event was over. They followed them all the way out to their cars calling them the Murder Patrol and KKK. An online letter dated April 1 and signed by “DACA recipients at the University of Arizona” said, “Students at the UA decided to bravely stand up and be vocal about the threat Customs and Border Patrol’s presence creates for our community. Their action is to be applauded and admired because they put their community before themselves and acted to protect us.” Shortly after the event, the U of A President decided to arrest three of the protesting students for disrupting a program at the U of A.

“The presence of Border Patrol on campus has been contested for years,” says Ana one of the protesters at the event.

The Student Body President also made a statement saying that students should be notified in advance if the Border Patrol was going to be on campus. She said that every student deserved to feel safe and supported at the U of A. Since the arrest of students there have been more protests and a debate about whether this was a violation of freedom of speech. Now there is another big protest planned and promises from the U of A President to have “campus conversations” on free speech.

 

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