Remove U.S. Customs and Border Protection from UC Irvine Career Fair

This petition made change with 647 supporters!

To the UC Irvine Career Center, Administration, and Community,

We, as students from UC Irvine, are demanding that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) be removed as participants  for  the upcoming Fall Career Fair scheduled on Thursday, October 22nd. The Career Fair, which aims to bring together recruiters from various business organizations and companies, provides job and career opportunities for students on campus, and this year, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection was invited to be a recruiter.

In the 2015-2016 academic year, over 500 students at UCI identify as AB540/DREAMer/undocumented, and while UCI has a commitment to ensuring safety and protection to every student on campus, we should be no exception. The undocumented community is directly affected by deportation and detention policies that are carried out by Border Patrol, and having Border Patrol agents on campus is a blatant disregard to undocumented students’ safety and well-being. Furthermore, there are many more students who come from mixed-status families (i.e. have undocumented immigrant spouses, parents, siblings, or relatives) or who have known a loved one/community member experience family separation and detention and therefore would be affected by US customs and Border Patrol’s presence on campus.

Border Patrol has historically enacted violence and unjust killings at and within the U.S.-Mexico border. Over 400 migrants die each year crossing the border, a number that continues to increase even when migration across the border decreases. CBP also has a terrible record for forcibly detaining and apprehending migrants with zero accountability. The border itself is also an arbitrary boundary line that serves to control migration and contributed to the notion of “illegal” immigration, a term that dehumanizes our right to migrate freely and live as human beings to survive. The border separates families, and having Border Patrol present at this fair reminds our student population the devastation facing those who have been directly and indirectly affected by deportations, killings, and separations.

The fact that UCI has invited an agency known for racial profiling, use of force, and unjustified violence is an act of disrespect and insensitivity and ignores the struggles and needs of the undocumented student community on campus. Border Patrol abuse and violence not only affects migrants at the border but it also extends to the communities and families beyond, including those of us at UCI.

Bringing U.S. Customs and Border Protection to UCI blatantly disregards the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of students on campus. Please sign to stand in solidarity with all undocumented/AB 540/DREAMers/and Allies at UCI.

Update and response from UCI Career Center:

We met with Suzanne and Kelly from the UCI Career Center and voiced our concerns about their bringing CBP to the career fair. They firmly stood by their stance that the career fair was an opportunity for all students, and that CBP was no exception. When asked if they valued fair opportunities over the safety of undocumented students (who may experience trauma and discomfort from CBP presence), they essentially said yes. In addition, the fair career opportunities that they claimed to benefit “all students” actually exclude undocumented students, which they also agreed with. Fundamentally, they are not concerned about the safety of undocumented students and believe that we are “young, mature adults” capable of handling our own mental and physical well-being.

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