Border Patrol disinvited from San Jose college's job fair, immigration rally still planned

An activist group, Dump Trump San Jose, said a planned rally Tuesday will go on, as disinviting the Border Patrol is a "tiny step in the much greater struggle" to support immigrants.
Image: Immigrant
U.S. Border Patrol agents load a migrant from Guatemala into a van after he was caught trying to enter the United States illegally on June 25 in Hidalgo, Texas.David J. Phillip / AP

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

The U.S. Border Patrol was disinvited from a job fair at a local college in San Jose, California, after a group of activists protested its planned presence and planned a rally at the fair.

San Jose City College's partner in putting on the job fair, Work2Future, asked the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which encompasses the Border Patrol, not to attend at the request of the school administration, a spokesman for the college, Ryan Brown, told NBC News on Tuesday.

For many at the diverse college, "the presence of U.S. Customs and Border Protection representatives on campus — regardless of their intentions or reasons for being there — can cause undue distress and concern," Elizabeth Pratt, the college's acting president, said in an all-campus message Monday.

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"I am confident that we made the right choice by not including them in the job fair," Pratt added.

An activist group, Dump Trump San Jose, had been encouraging followers for more than a week to call the office of the San Jose City College president to demand that the Border Patrol be banned from the job fair and future college events.

The group posted a suggested script for callers that read in part: "The U.S. Border Patrol is a fundamentally racist and anti-immigrant institution. ... Immigrants make up almost 40 percent of our population and the presence of Border Patrol agents on SJ City College’s campus jeopardizes the safety of both its student body and the community at large."

On Monday, the group announced the college had disinvited the enforcement agency.

"Thank you to everyone who acted to demand that Border Patrol be removed from the job fair! The great outpouring of support from the community and student body was successful in getting them removed," a Facebook post from Dump Trump San Jose said.

The group said it will still rally Tuesday because the removal of the Border Patrol from the job fair is "only a tiny step in the much greater struggle that must be carried out to support migrants and immigrant communities in the face of emboldened racism, xenophobia, white supremacy, and fascism in the U.S."

A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said in a statement that the goal of sending agents to the fair was "to inform about the excellent, well-paid rewarding career opportunities CBP has to offer, not to conduct any law enforcement activities." The statement added that the CBP "respects" the school's decision not to have agents at the fair.