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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Council for Minority Student Affairs holds vigil to shine a light on lives lost at the border


Students gathered at Rudder Plaza at 7 p.m. on Nov. 1 to recognize lives lost in crossing the US-Mexican border.

Students gathered Friday to remember the lives of those who were lost trying to cross the border into the U.S.
The Council for Minority Student Affairs held a vigil on Friday at 7 p.m. to recognize and remember those who lost their lives trying to cross the U.S-Mexico border for a better life and to also shed light on the overt difficulties of coming into the country legally. The vigil was held at Rudder Plaza, with students linking arms and lighting candles to remember those who were lost. One by one, officers of CMSA spoke to those in attendance about elements of the immigration system. Jocelyn Marrufo, a political science junior, vice president of CMSA and the organizer of the vigil said CMSA held this event in recognition of the hardships faced by immigrants risking their lives for a better quality of life, due to the harsh immigration policies.
“We want to recognize that we recognize their struggle and also to shed light on predatory elements of the immigration system that makes it so much harder for migrants to come into the country legally,” Maruffo said. “This is to say that we understand the immigration system is failing.”
Part of the predatory elements of the immigration system, Maruffo said, was the family separation that took place under Trump’s administration.
“Family separation was a new thing under the Trump Administration,” Maruffo said. “During the Obama Administration, children were detained but families were kept together. They were detained in centers together and housed together. That changed under Trump’s presidency, and separating kids from their families to make people stay in a bad situation in their country was not okay.”
The United States makes it extremely difficult to enter into the country legally, yet when someone is caught crossing the border in search of peace, they are placed in detention centers with inhumane treatment, said Gabby Camilleri, a political science senior and officer in CMSA.
“I hope people come out of this realizing that the U.S. limits the pathways for immigrants to come here and they don’t make it easy,” Camilleri said. “The people who are placed in detention centers are human beings who deserve respect, peace and deserve to have their lives remembered and cherished.”
The issues plaguing the immigration system in the United States are not new, nor are they a product solely of the Trump Administration’s making, Maruffo said.
“People need to know, this isn’t a stab at the current administration,” Maruffo said. “Past presidential administrations have also dealt with lives lost and not attempting to fix the system.”
Because of this, multiple past administrations share blame for the tragedies that occur at the border, said Edgar Rivera, a junior political science major and president of CMSA who spoke at the event.
“There is blood on the hands of the United States,” Rivera said. “There is blood on Ronald Raegan’s hands, there is blood on George [H.W.] Bush’s hands, there is blood on Bill Clinton’s hands, there is blood on George W. Bush’s hands, there is blood on Barack Obama’s hands and there is blood on Donald Trump’s hands.”

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  • Members of the Council for Minority Student Affairs Noah Gonzalez and Kim Lerma attend the vigil to honor the immigrants who lost their lives crossing the border.

    Photo by PROVIDED

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