Diverse Source Interview
Quotes collected by: Micailah Nobles
Source: Antonio Rivera III
20, Political Science Major, Political Communication and Philosophy Double Minor
Question 1: How do you feel about Trump’s Immigration policies?
“From a moral standpoint, there’s a certain dehumanizing factor in the way he [Trump] approaches the ridding of undocumented immigrants. For instance, a lot of undocumented immigrants have been detained in these cells without proper heating and cooling services and without beds; that is insane to me. But I also think it’s inherently flawed coming from a rhetorical and operational standpoint because of his elementary way of ridding the country of something he considers a problem. Instead of restricting visas and accessibility to them, he wants to build a wall which won’t actually change anything.”
Question 2: Do you think the detaining and deporting of undocumented immigrants should be enforced? If so, why? If not, why not?
“Well, I think we first have to consider why people are coming to the United States, and what they are like once they get here. Secondly, we have to consider the benefits that the U.S. gains from deportation. Rhetorically speaking, the answer is justice. We see them coming here illegally and getting deported, as a fulfillment of the law. We see it as justice. But these are people who have risked their entire lives to come to the United States; there is a desire to have the American Dream fulfilled in their lives. Desiring to have a prosperous life and provide for their families, which is not different from the mentality of most Americans. I feel as though that kind of philosophy towards hard work and success is an American core value that these undocumented immigrants hold dear. To me, deporting in general, simply doesn’t make sense because you are deporting people who have shown these qualities and their dedication to be Americans in every shape and form but you want to deport them based on their crime. It’s hypocritical and it is, at is core, terribly unfair. I mean what justice is there in tearing apart families?”
Question 3: With Texas Governor Gregg Abbott threatening to defund Texas universities that petition to become sanctuary campuses, what alternative do you think the Texas State Bobcat community needs to implement to ensure the safety of our undocumented students? In your answer, please provide your perception of sanctuary campuses as well.
"My initial perception of sanctuary campuses is that they are solely symbolic because they are not effective in a way. I say that because we have Travis Country claiming to be a sanctuary county, but then we saw, throughout its main city, Austin, Texas, them allow the conducting of mass deportations at children's' schools and grocery stores through ICE. So in that since, I feel the same way about sanctuary campuses. That they were futile and the lack of push-back from the state after Abbott's threat only proved that to be the case for me. However, University of Texas at San Antonio became a sanctuary campus after Greg Abbott's threat, and it got me thinking. Many undocumented students that attend Texas Universities do so through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or D.A.C.A., which means that they are legally able to work here. And because of that, it puts us in a position where sanctuary campuses are viable options and any ramifications for it are null and void. Truthfully, I think Greg Abbott's statement was merely politically theater and that we as a student body can fight that if we really want to."
Question 4: What advice do you have for students and parents who might be affected by Trump's immigration polices going into this political climate surrounding their existence in America? For those who may be in the dark and are not clear on what may happen to them?
“This is kind of a retroactive statement to my personal life. I say this because the Trump Administration doesn’t scare me because the Obama Administration already did all of the work. He already deported my family. It puts me in a weird position where I am constantly fighting back against the oppressive forces and hurtful nature of this administration, because I know that I had to half celebrate and half denounce President Obama whom I liked. So, some advice that I’d give is to continue to be happy, to be a person, before they don’t allow you to.”