UC Irvine students--in support of the school's 548 undocumented students--have successfully petitioned against the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)'s participation in a career fair scheduled for tomorrow. The petition went up on Monday morning and received over 650 signatures from fellow students, undocumented students from other schools, alumni, and activists. After receiving notice of the petition, the CBP officially withdrew from the career fair Tuesday morning.
The petition's organizer, a psychology and criminology student named Amy Yu, says she and other students learned about the CBP's participation on Sunday night and decided to speak about it to the fair's representatives the following day. "They firmly stated that they valued providing fair job opportunities over the safety of undocumented students on campus," she says. Yu was inspired to start an online petition.
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In the petition, Yu writes that the CBP's presence jeopardizes the emotional security of undocumented students on campus, who may have faced deportation and detention threats and/or have family members who have. Reported migra abuse and killings are also cited as reasons for the CBP's withdrawal.
Cathy Lawhon, UCI's Senior Director of Media Relations & Publications, says the CBP felt that "the opposition to their presence would be a distraction from the recruitment efforts." However, the agency will still be using the school's online job postings system to list available positions for interested students.