Friday, November 16, 2007

ARTICLE: Candlelight vigil to oppose deportation in schools

Nov 15, 2007
Tucson, AZ

It was another show of solidarity Wednesday night from students, protesting the way Tucson Police handled a student who was found to be an illegal immigrant.

November 1, drugs were found on a student at Catalina Magnet High School. School officials called in Tucson Police.

Once officers found out the student was an illegal immigrant, they called ICE agents onto the campus.

The student and his family were deported back to Mexico.

One week later, the teen's classmates marched from the school to the Tucson Police Department, protesting the agents coming onto their campus.

Wednesday night, the group came together, again.

Carrying candles and chanting "education for all..." about 100 people came together in front of Tucson Police headquarters in downtown with hopes of getting their message across.

The young and old came out, but the majority of the crowd was made up of students from Catalina Magnet High School where a student was deported by agents who came into the school and took him out.

"That really affected us and all the students there, it just had a really big impact on us and I think we need to remember them," said Catalina Magnet High School student Nancy Mercado.

"Our schools aren't secure anymore. If anyone can just come in and take anyone then they're not secure anymore and that kind of scares us," added student Lizeth Grijalva.

Last Monday, about 100 students marched from Catalina Magnet High School, to the Tucson Police Department, calling for an end to the policy that allows Border Patrol on their campus.

Tucson Unified School District administrators met with members of the Tucson Police Department that day and agreed to a policy that says police will not call immigration enforcement onto school campuses. Instead, they'll follow up somewhere off campus.

Why the vigil now several days later?

"They have come to a verbal agreement, but we want something concrete. And that's why we're here. So they know that we haven't forgotten about it, it wasn't a one time thing. We want something concrete, we want something done," said Frances Montano, a student at Catalina Magnet High School.

"Schools should be for education, not deportation," added U of A student Nacho Bueno who came out, he said, to support the voice of the youth.

La Nueva Raza News