On Nov. 15 activists from the Central/South American and Caribbean Student Alliance (CENSOCA) UC Davis branch, rallied with their peers to save Temporary Protected Status and support TPS students and their families.
TPS is an immigration status granted to those migrating to the United States from specific countries that have been determined unsafe to return to due to conflicts like civil war and environmental disasters. This status protects individuals from being detained or deported and allows them to pursue work and education in the United States. TPS recipients come from Central American, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and African nations that have predominantly suffered from U.S. intervention, including Honduras, Syria and Yemen.
The Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants have recently included the removal of Nicaragua from the TPS program. This means that the over 5,000 Nicaraguan recipients of this program have until January 2019 to return to Nicaragua or face being undocumented in an increasingly hostile U.S. This move, coupled with the prototypes of a border wall built in Otay Mesa, Calif. and the increasing ICE threat, have caused many to fear more cuts to the TPS program.
Members of CENSOCA, Students for a Democratic Society, Party for Socialism and Liberation and other students gathered at Hart Hall before marching through the Memorial Union Quad and Coffee House, carrying signs reading “Save Queer TPS Recipients,” “Fleeing violence is not a crime,” and “Keep families together,” to name just a few.
The march culminated in a circle in the quad in front of a visiting group of bigoted “preachers” that was admonishing students for their “sinful” lifestyles and spreading the message that “Hell awaits Muslims, Hindus, rebellious women, homosexuals” and so on. The activists were not phased and stood their ground to cheers from surrounding students. They raised their voices in support of all immigrants, and support from the crowd made clear that this was a space welcoming of all people, not a stage for spreading bigotry.