Many University of Connecticut students are outraged after the Trump administration signed an executive order last week barring immigrants from applying for asylum unless done at a port of entry.
“This is against our human rights… it is so bigoted that the American dream is leaving your home to come to America, to work hard and pull yourself up by the bootstraps and make it,” Caesar Valentin, Latinx student leadership council coordinator at Uconn’s Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC), said. “But then we don’t let them live out the American dream, so why do we still have the image of it?”
Ashley Amaro, Latinx Student Leadership Council Coordinator at PRLACC, said Trump’s orders target the Latinx community in particular.
“These [Latinx community] people are just trying to get what they need to survive, provide a better education for their kids and prosper from being here,” Amaro said. “If they’re not happy with where they are and what’s going on in their nation, just like any other refugees that we have offered asylum to, I don’t understand why with the Latinx community it is a new drastic thing that he is always coming after”
Many at Connecticut Students for a Dream said they find this new order on immigrants seeking asylum to be xenophobic and racist.
“President Trump is using his power to criminalize and scapegoat the immigrant community,” Lucas Codognolla, Executive Director at CT Students for a Dream, said. “In Connecticut, we know better. We won’t let his white supremacist scare tactics dehumanize immigrants and divide our state.”
The tolerance for executive orders coming from the Trump Administration has diminished, and communities around Connecticut declare they are here to stay, Angelica Idrovo, Youth Organizer at CT Students for a Dream, said.
“Just like the Muslim ban, we know that this policy is yet another ploy to rally up his base by attacking our communities through overreach of executive power,” Idrovo said.
The PRLACC community finds it unfair, Valentin said, that America has historically allowed immigrants to apply for asylum, but the Trump administration has decided to slow this process by adding clauses that bar many immigrants from entering the country.
“What’s going to be next? What is going to be the next reason to tell someone they don’t deserve human rights that they do indeed deserve?” Valentin said.
Amaro said she feels Trump has put his own feelings and agenda before the people of the United States in order to acclimate the nation to his comfort levels.
“Every family comes from immigrants in the United States, and now you’re trying to change it… it just doesn’t make sense,” Amaro said.
Trump is going against constitutional rights, Amaro said, when the Constitution is something that every American should live by. Many other nations abide by the birthright clause and succeed, so Amaro questions why America cannot maintain a constitutional right that it’s consistently had in place.
Much of the land that the United States is built on originally belonged to Mexico but was stolen, Valentin said.
“It doesn’t make sense to me to neglect the fact that you caused all these problems,” Valentin said. “But then you go and get mad when the problems come back to bite you.”
Naiela Suleiman is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.