A California college disinvited U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from a jobs fair on Tuesday, arguing that the agency’s presence would cause “distress and concern” to what is an “already vulnerable population.”
Acting San Jose City College President Elizabeth Pratt sent out an email to the school community on Monday announcing that the administration decided to rescind its invitation to CBP for the jobs fair on Tuesday after news of the agency’s presence “understandably caused concern” among some of the students.
“We serve a very diverse student population, a large percentage of whom have immigrated to the US from other nations and an even larger percentage of our students have family members who are immigrants,” Pratt said in the email. “For many in this population, the presence of US Customs and Border Protection representatives on campus—regardless of their intentions or reasons for being there—can cause undue distress and concern. This is something we strive to prevent whenever possible for this already vulnerable population.”
But, a spokesperson for CBP told Fox News in an emailed statement that while it respected the schools decision, the agency’s intention was never to “conduct any law enforcement activities” while on campus.
Ryan Brown, a public information officer with the school district, told Fox News that an initial complaint about CBP came from an unnamed person who called the president’s office. It wasn't immediately clear if this individual was a student.
But a student activist group called Dump Trump San Jose announced on Facebook earlier this week that it would be hosting a rally planned during the jobs fair to protest CBP’s invitation.
“Thank you to everyone who acted to demand that Border Patrol be removed from the job fair!” an updated post read. “While this is a significant victory in terms of disrupting Border Patrol’s recruitment efforts in San Jose, it’s 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.”
Pratt went on to say in her email that the college serves all students, regardless of immigration status and that it continues to “foster an environment in which all students feel comfortable and supported.”
The CBP spokesperson told Fox News: "Our main objective was to inform job-seekers about the rewarding career opportunities CBP has to offer, not to conduct any law enforcement activities. CBP has launched a national recruiting strategy to aggressively recruit women, minorities, veterans and college students to join a world class organization responsible for keeping our borders safe while facilitating lawful international travel and trade.”
The activist group, which shared a script for students to use when calling to complain about the jobs fair, called the decision a “victory” and said that the planned rally would proceed in celebration.