By Andrew Penalosa
Chula Vista- Juan Sanchez, a 20-year-old student at Stevens University, stood in front of a podium with his family speaking about his recent arrest by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
On Oct. 31, Sanchez was one of two students arrested on campus without clarification as to why.
Janice Johnson, chancellor at Steven’s University, announced that the university will stop cooperating with ICE and federal agents will not be allowed on campus.
A press conference was held on Saturday, Nov. 9, to discuss the incident that took place on campus. The chancellor claimed that what happened was not the norm.
“Don’t judge the university by one incident.” she said.
When Johnson introduced Sanchez, a second-year economics major, he was greeted by discriminatory remarks from an anti-immigrant protestor.
“Go back to Mexico… Live the Mexican dream!” the protestor hollered.
Sanchez’s father was with him at the podium and retorted to the protestor.
“We are home!” he exclaimed.
Johnson intervened and asked the protestor if he needed to be called out by security. Despite the remarks, Sanchez continued through the conference without yelling back at the protestor. Some of his concerns were his safety on campus and why he wasn’t offered legal counseling while being in custody.
When asked about his arrest, he was unsure of why he was taken.
Other protestors butted in when the rude protestor spoke. They were exclaiming about their abolishment of ICE on campus and how they supported Sanchez and his family.
Once he left the podium, Steven Washington, a professor on campus, spoke about how him and his student was arrested. He described in detail about how the situation took place.
“I attempted to intervene to say ‘I want to call campus police, show my identification’ and at that point, I was arrested too.” he said.
After he finished speaking, Sanchez’s father came back up to continue fighting back against the rude protestor and how he didn’t understand what it’s like to live in Mexico.
Once the chancellor had enough of the protestor, she came to tell him to get out. He wouldn’t budge and the ICE protestors came to him to chant about no racism. The father continued to speak about unfair treatment towards immigrants despite the loud protests.
Photographers and reporters suddenly swarmed towards the protests and there were two conversations going on at once. It was becoming a mad house of words.
The university official called the meeting off before it would become uncontrollable. Those who spoke at the podium stuck around to answer questions from reporters.