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Students Walk Out in Day of Protest Against Trump Immigration Plans

Protests were held in New York, Miami and San Diego as students demonstrated against Trump's stated immigration policies.
Image: Brown University
Students protest on the Brown University campus on Nov. 16, 2016, in Providence, Rhode Island, to demand that students and employees be protected against immigration proceedings following the election of Donald Trump as president. Hundreds of students walked out of their classrooms and activities at 3 p.m.Jennifer McDermott / AP

Students at New York and New Jersey universities walked out of class Wednesday in protest over president-elect Donald Trump's stated immigration plans, and other demonstrations were held in Florida and California in a day of action organizers titled with the hashtag "sanctuary campus."

A Facebook page for the movement calls on students to "commit to putting our bodies between Trump and our undocumented students."

Some of the protests were organized by Movimiento Cosecha, which calls for "permanent protection, dignity and respect for the immigrant community."

Trump campaigned heavily on immigration "reforms," and has pledged to deport undocumented immigrants — although he has appeared to have softened his tone somewhat since winning the election.

"It's just nice to see solidarity, and I think people are wondering what they can do and what's the next step and how we can become a nation that's proud of its diversity and not divided because of it," New York University law student Sarika Arya told NBC New York.

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Trump’s election in defiance of polls last week has sparked protests in cities across the country. Many used the slogan "not my president" and cited the president-elect’s comments on immigrants from Mexico, Muslims, and past comments about women in expressing their disapproval of the nation’s next leader.

In San Diego, more than 300 students from San Diego High School marched in the Southern California city, NBC San Diego reported.

College and high school students also walked out in protest in the Miami area. "Up, up with education, down, down with deportation," students chanted at a rally in front of Miami’s city hall, NBC Miami reported.

Hundreds of students also held a rally at Yale University in Connecticut.

"It is not just about what happens on our campus. We want to show the American public that we will not let Trump normalize deportations and hate crimes against the communities his campaign targeted," protest organizer Ramon Garibaldo said in a statement.

Some of the students said they were calling on universities and colleges to declare themselves to "declare sanctuary." Democratic mayors of some major U.S. cities reacted to the election by saying they will do all they can to protect residents from deportation.

There were no immediate reports of the type violence or large scale arrests. In Portland, protests last week devolved into what police one night termed a "riot" that involved windows of businesses being smashed. More than 100 people were arrested in protests in Portland last week, Portland police said. In some cities, like Los Angeles and Miami, protesters last week disrupted traffic by entering freeways.

Around 100 Portland State University students held a rally and march near campus in the Oregon city, NBC affiliate KGW reported. PSU President Wim Wiewel said in a statement that reaction to the election has included "regrettably, incidents of harassment on campus."

"I want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to ensure that Portland State University remains a safe place for all of you regardless of your viewpoints or background," Wiewel said in the statement.