Students attending MiraCosta College felt threatened by the presence of United States Border Patrol recruiters visiting their Oceanside campus. In retaliation, students involved in the college’s Latino student club MEChA, the Black Student Union, and a Mexican-American history class staged a demonstration.
Border Patrol recruiters were invited to the Oceanside campus because the college offers an administration of justice program, and school officials wanted to give students access to potential job opportunities.
The demonstration took place during one of the college’s weekly events that showcases student activities taking place on campus. Participants deliberately positioned their demonstration in close proximity to the Border Patrol recruitment station to ensure that both recruiters and fellow classmates witnessed the protest.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, some students held posters featuring straightforward messages like “undocumented and afraid” and “human rights for all.”
Other students performed the reenactment of Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas’s controversial death. In May 2010, Hernandez-Rojas was illegally entered into the United States to reunite with family members in San Diego when the Border Patrol apprehended him. As Hernandez-Rojas attempted to evade capture, agents used batons and tasers to subdue him. He died days later.
MiraCosta student Cassandra Mayoral did not want the demonstration viewed as an act of complete defiance. She was quoted as saying, “It’s not that we hate the Border Patrol and they need to stop. It’s that they need to be held accountable for what they’ve done.”
Border Patrol representatives admit that the law enforcement agency has noticed a recent spike in resistance demonstrations and were aware of the premeditated protest at MiraCosta. In response, Border Patrol public affairs officer Agent Wendi Lee stated that recruiters were only present to enlist interested students and took no issue with the protest.