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Students stage protest over Border patrol career event

Story by Ana Acosta

Palomar students and faculty members gathered in the quad area to protest against the Career Center’s decision to invite a Border Patrol Agent for a hiring event on Feb. 5.

Palomar’s Career Center invited a Customs and Border Protection Officer to campus, and in response, Palomar’s M.E.Ch.A. club organized a protest the same day.

M.E.Ch.A., a student-led club dedicated to fighting against oppressive systematic racism against Chicanx members of the community, posted the announcement of the protest on socials in response to the event.

“After claiming to support the undocumented community on campus,” the post read. “This is an act of betrayal and a threat to undocumented folk at Palomar College. Let’s show them that CBP is not welcome here.”

In response to the post, the Career Center cancelled the event and has since removed it from their events calendar.

Students stage protest over Border patrol career event
Students gathered to protest Border patrol career event. Chicano Studies Professor Angélica Yañez speaks to the crowd. Photo by Kiana Teixeira/The Telescope.

Students, faculty and community members gathered in the SU-Quad to share their personal experiences with border patrol and to voice their disapproval with the decision to host this event.

fey salgado
Palomar student Fey Salgado shares an emotional response to Palomar officials inviting CBP to campus for a hiring event. Photo by Kiana Teixeira/The Telescope.

Fey Salgado, a Palomar student, gave an emotional response while present at the rally. Salgado shared that students should not feel unsafe while on school grounds.

“We’re here to learn, to better ourselves and our community,” Salgado said.

Members of Unión del Barrio, an independent political organization dedicated to resisting border patrol and police violence in San Diego as well as nationally, were also present in solidarity with Palomar students and faculty.

Alejandra Ramos
Alejandra Ramos, member of Unión del Barrio, speaks to community members gathered in solidarity with Chicanx and undocumented students. Photo by Kiana Teixeira/The Telescope.

Alejandra Ramos, a Unión del Barrio member, said that the decision to invite border patrol onto campus ground was an attack on the students.

“It’s not the first time that it happens on a college campus, and it’s definitely not going to be the last that institutions of education are going to invite terrorist organizations like the border patrol or anything like that,” Ramos said. “The violence that they inflict in local communities is very real, especially in North County.”

The Career Center is reportedly rescheduling the hiring event, to which students voiced dissatisfaction.

“Obviously this really affected some people and we had a student sobbing because they were afraid to be on campus,” Daisy Zavala, Political Director of Palomar’s M.E.Ch.A. club, said. “It’s very disgraceful and I think that it was just a bad move on their part to reschedule.”

Featured image by Kiana Teixeira.

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