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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trinity Student Organization Protests Possible Deportations

By Allison Pickens
The Trinity Tripod

Trinity students have joined together with Mariano Cardoso Jr., an engineering student at Capitol Community College in New Haven, Conn. who faces deportation only four months prior to his graduation date. Born in Mexico, Cardoso came to the United States 20 years ago with his father, both of whom live in Connecticut illegally. Cardoso and his father received a letter from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency demanding their deportation, and Cardoso fears they will be separated from his two American-born siblings.

On Monday, Feb. 14 more than 20 Trinity College students from the student group Stop the Raids protested Cardoso's deportation at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Office in Hartford.

Stop the Raids is a student-run group at Trinity "whose mission is to support the immigrant population locally and nation-wide," according to the group's Facebook page. The group "also works in solidarity with other organizations to spread awareness of the mal-treatment of undocumented immigrants and legal immigrants alike in the hopes of creating an immigrant support base that will prevent further illegal actions against immigrants in this country."

At the Cardoso rally, members of Stop the Raids marched to chants of "Yes Education, No Deportation." They also formed a picket line and made various speeches on immigration reform and immigrant rights.

Acting Executive Director of the Latino and Affairs Commission Werner Oyanadel promoted an upcoming public hearing regarding immigrant college tuition fees in March. Other attendees spoke against Cardoso's deportation and in favor of immigration rights, including Mayoral candidate for Hartford Edwin Vargas, who denounced President Obama for not doing enough for immigrants, Hartford City Council Minority Leader and Working Families Party Member, and People of the Faith leader Frank O'Gorman.

The protesters called for presidential pardons for illegal immigrants and increased awareness of immigrant issues during the hour-long rally.

The Trinity College Stop the Raids group is currently working with legal channels to keep Cardoso in the United States until he graduates college.

Earlier this month, 4Legs published an article by Vice President of Stop the Raids Theresa Meehan '11 detailing Cardoso's situation and the current immigration laws in the U.S. In her article, Meehan criticized anti-immigration laws in Arizona and elsewhere. "These laws show the recent rise in anti-immigrant sentiments," she wrote. "They have lead to an increase in racial profiling and have broken away from the original intent of the laws: to deport illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes. These laws enforce the view of a black and white world: immigrants without documents should be deported, no special cases, no maybes, no gray areas." To read Meehan's article in its entirety visit