The Trump administration implemented new immigration rules that have drastically impacted communities across the country.

“The ICE rounding up and deporting people, splitting up families and detaining children is sickening,” Dr. Marco Cervantes, associate professor of Mexican-American studies said. “It is dehumanizing and criminal what is going on. UTSA has a history of standing in solidarity with undocumented students, families and community members, so a foundation for this kind of work is already there. Given that many of our students at UTSA and their families are currently being affected by policy that is hostile to Mexican immigrants, UTSA should naturally be a sanctuary campus. The fact that we are not has called for stronger solidarity among students and faculty in the program and the university as a whole.”

In previous years low-profile cases were not a priority for deportation, but under the new administration all undocumented people are at risk. Josue Romero, a 19-year-old student at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, an undocumented immigrant brought to the U.S. as a child protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was detained in San Antonio in February.

Emma Contreras, a student double majoring in Spanish and Mexican-American studies at UTSA, grew up in a border town heavily occupied by ICE agents.

Contreras stated ICE had always roamed her hometown, but now with Trump as president, the agents have been more aggressive with their tactics.

In closing, Dr. Cervantes stated, “I honestly don’t know what to expect next, but I do know we have to be active in protesting, calling legislators, writing articles, creating art, running for office and staying vocal about these injustices.  None of this profiling, detaining and deporting should be normalized.”

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