SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) – Across California, college students are demanding their schools become ‘sanctuary campuses’ for undocumented classmates who may be facing deportation during a Trump Administration.
Nearly 700 Stanford University students, staff and faculty members marched joined a ‘sanctuary campus’ rally on Tuesday with a Thursday demonstration planned at Santa Clara University and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom meeting with students at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State.
The students want protections in place to prevent classmates being pulled off of campuses and deported.
“I feel targeted a lot more than I did before,” said Marlene Cerritos-Rivas, a Santa Clara University junior and undocumented immigrant from El Salvador. “I’m terrified, everyday…What’s going to happen now that (President-elect Donald Trump) he’s open and isn’t shy about saying that he’s going to deport us – What’s going to happen now.”
Cerritos-Rivas has lived in the United States since she was a little girl.
Santa Clara classmate Marilynn Escun says she wants to help Cerritos-Rivas and others feel safe.
“For us a sanctuary campus means to become a campus where we embrace and support and fight for our undocumented community,” she told KPIX 5. “I want future undocumented students to feel like this is their home, that there’s someone always there for them. This isn’t necessarily for me. I’m not fighting for me because I have one year left, this is for the freshman that’s going to come in.”
At Stanford, the crowd chanted phrases such as “People united will never be defeated” and “Show me what democracy looks like,” public policy graduate student Jacob Waggoner said.
Many participants were encouraged to wear black and read a prepared statement provided by the organizers before they left their classes, meetings or jobs.
“The event was meant to bring communities together through a show of love and strength,” Waggoner said.
A school administrator and representatives from various student groups spoke to the crowd during the roughly hour-long gathering.
The organizers demanded the university become a sanctuary campus for undocumented immigrants; administrators, including the school’s president and provost, to denounce the bigotry elicited by the Trump campaign and school officials to take steps in developing policies that support people affected by the hateful national rhetoric.
“The main point of this action was to really capitalize on this moment in the changing political landscape,” engineering physics student Shane Johnson said.