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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 organized a rally for during the fair.
A spokesman for San Jose City College told NBC Bay Area this week that the college canceled the invitation in light of current heightened tensions around immigration enforcement.
“With everything that’s gone on in recent years around the issue of immigration and with border patrol and enforcement, that’s just not something that we’re comfortable with, bringing them to our campus,” spokesman Ryan Brown said.
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 US Border Patrol is a fundamentally racist and anti-immigrant institution. … Immigrants make up almost 40% 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,” read a Facebook post from Dump Trump San Jose.
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 US.”
A U.S. 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 conducting any law enforcement activities.” The statement added that the CBP “respects” the school’s decision not to have agents at the fair.