University of Arizona Students Charged for Disrupting Border Patrol Event
Two University of Arizona students are facing misdemeanor charges for protesting against a Customs and Border Protection event, whose video went viral on social media.
According to the university, the conduct of both of the students towards two Border Patrol agents who were giving a presentation in a classroom on March 19 was disrespectful and a departure from campus free speech policies.
The video that was shared widely on social media showed people outside the classroom shouting “Murder Patrol,” “murderers” and “an extension of the KKK” at the agents.
The university police department is currently investigating to see if additional criminal violations took place. The Office of the Dean of Students is also reviewing potential violations of the student code of conduct.
“At the core of these inquiries is the University of Arizona’s commitment to free speech,” president Robert C. Robbins said. “The student club and the CBP officers invited by the students should have been able to hold their meeting without disruption. Student protest is protected by our support for free speech, but disruption is not.”
Showing solidarity with the students who were charged, DACA recipients who attend the college penned an open letter saying that the presence of Customs and Border Protection agents on campus alone causes them “discomfort and fear.”
A letter from DACA recipients regarding the recent altercation between students and Border Patrol agents on campus. pic.twitter.com/D1yVKgIr5m
— Daily Wildcat (@dailywildcat) April 1, 2019
“As DACA recipients at the university, the presence of CBP on campus has a traumatic impact on our overall well being and impedes us from fully engaging with our academics,” the letter, obtained by The AZ Central, reads. “In a space where all students are given the right to pursue an education, their presence was and will always be an infringement on that right.”
Meanwhile, university leadership has announced that it will review its processes to ensure that similar events are prevented in the future.