Students protest immigration law

Mariana Silva

Kent State University’s Day of Remembrance was also a day of protest. Students, who walked up the same stage where May 4 speakers stood minutes before, spoke against the new immigration law in Arizona signed two weeks ago.

Caucasian, black and Hispanic students raised their voices and marched from the May 4 Memorial next to Taylor Hall to Risman Plaza. Students remained silenced when they walked pass the memorial in respect to the victims of May 4 and continued the march protesting against the new law.

“You show me an American, I’ll show you an immigrant,” they shouted.

The bill, signed April 23, allows state and local government to inquire individuals about their immigration status and identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants.

Hellen Gebremeskel, senior nursing major, said she was surprised with the commotion of different students because Kent is “not that diverse.”

“I’m loving it,” Gebremeskel said. “There is so many different people here.”

She said that by looking at the diversity of protesters, one could see the new law was not only affecting minorities.

Some organizers of the protest, which included members of Black United Students, Spanish and Latino Student Association, NAACP and others, repeatedly said on stage, “It is not the bill that we are fighting, it is the mentality,” referring to racism.

Students also collected signatures for a new organization: Students Against Discriminatory Immigration Policies.

Holding the American constitution, students added that the laws in Arizona are “unconstitutional and immoral.”

Amanda Sanchez, vice president of SALSA, said the number of people in the protest today was the result of individuals trying to make a difference.

“We don’t go by our groups,” she said. “We only go by our own passion and what we believe is right or wrong.”

Contact diversity reporter Mariana Silva at [email protected].