Phone bank offers Titans chance to speak on immigration

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Titans got connected with their senators on Monday to express concerns about migrants at the southern border as part of a phone bank held on Titan Walk.

Cal State Fullerton students were encouraged to call Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein to tell the United States government to stop the militarization of the border, deportation and detention of immigrants, as well as to respect the rights of migrants who seek asylum in the U.S.

Heather Noel, a kinesiology major, said she called Feinstein to tell the government to stop the unethical use of force to deter people from crossing the border.

“We’re kind of the next generation and we’re the only people who can do something about it. Lately students haven’t been acting, so just simply calling is one way to get the senators to do something about it,” she said.

Diversity Resilience Education Access Movement Co-Operation (D.R.E.A.M. Co-Op), a student organization that advocates for the rights of DACA students, and the Fullerton Collegiate League of United Latin American Citizens Council hosted the phone bank.

The League of United Latin American Citizens Council is a student organization that advocates for the civil rights of the Latin American community.

The event was held due to concerns over the treatment of migrants at the Tijuana border a few weeks ago when migrant men, women and children from Central America seeking U.S. asylum were tear gassed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency.

“These are immigrants trying to seek asylum because of political climates and social climates and economical climates that are happening right down in Central America, that’s why we need to help out. We know that we have the resources here in the US, why not help out?” said Jesus Rojas, a member of D.R.E.A.M. Co-Op and vice president for the League of United Latin American Citizens Council.

Third-year Beatriz Villarreal, the parliamentarian for the council, said a phone bank allows anyone to participate and grants everyone a chance for their voice to be represented.

“CSUF, being a Hispanic-serving institution, knows this crisis is hitting close to home especially to the undocumented students,” she said.

About 41 percent of the students enrolled at CSUF were Hispanic in fall 2017, according to a CSUF fact sheet.

In April 2014, CSUF was the first university in the Cal State system to open a DREAM center and take a public stance in favor of providing safe and supportive education for undocumented students.

Rojas said he is certain there is at least one family member of a CSUF student in the caravan because of the number of undocumented and Latinx students who attend the university.

“It’s important for CSUF students to get involved with that because that’s our community,” Rojas said. “Whether they’re related or not, those are our people, that’s our heritage, our culture, they’re bringing that with them. As CSUF students, we’re supposed to help one another.”

Those interested in calling their representatives in support of the group’s mission can reach Feinstein at (310) 914-7300 or Harris at (310) 231-4494.

Other student organizations like the Association for InterCultural Awareness have announced plans to drive to the border and donate non-perishable food, clothes, blankets, hygiene products and baby clothes to the migrants.

“We shouldn’t see the people as migrants,” Villarreal said. “They’re human and they deserve equal rights, human rights and an equal chance at a better future.”

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