Undocumented students in Bellingham demand action against deportation

Undocumented college students are asking Bellingham leaders to keep the city a sanctuary city to shelter illegal immigrants.

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Undocumented college students demanded Bellingham City Council take a stance against deportation Monday. The students, from Western Washington University, said they felt the need to act after comments made leading up to the election by then-Presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“I have three younger siblings. Two are from here, one is not,” said Olga Prado. “It would be leaving them behind, not being sure what is going to happen to them.”

“My family, we are good people,” said Maria Prieto. “We’re not criminals. We’re not rapists, nothing like he said.”

The two young women along with Victoria Matey came to the United States from Mexico when they were young. All three are attending classes at Western Washington University. They are also members of Blue Group, an organization that offers support and guidance to undocumented college students.

“We feel very threatened by the elected President, and we are not going to sit back and not do anything about it,” said Matey.

The students stood before city councilmembers during a Monday night meeting.

“We come to you in need of help, to come out as a sanctuary town for undocumented immigrants,” said Matey.

Several people stood up against the idea.

“If they don't have respect for our laws, then they are not going to have respect for anything else,” one woman told the Council.

“If we go ahead and say we want to break those laws because we want to be want to be a cool liberal city, that is actually disgusting to me,” said another resident.

The idea of sanctuary city was met with swift criticism, but the students said it won't silence them. They plan to hold a demonstration on campus later this week.

Copyright 2016 KING


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