Diversity & Inclusion Programs
What Undocumented Students Have to Say About Trump's Election.
For the safety of the students, their names have been purposely made anonymous.
Student Response 1
My Condolences to “America”
The election of Donald Trump came as a great shock. The frustration I felt led me to feel a great deal of disappointment, not just in the country I have come to regard as “home” but also in humanity. He stands for hate, discrimination, and ignorance. I do not understand how he was able to obtain the support of so many people.
Being an AB540 student proves that willingness can take one a long way. How many boundaries were put in our way and yet we still managed to overcome? This just proves that documents are nothing but pieces of paper. No label can truly categorize a person. Anyone is capable of anything and labels are only a way to hold us back. The only thing that measures individuals is their ability to continue bettering themselves whether it be financially, spiritually, or ethically.
Now that Trump has been elected it seems as if all i've been working for is lost. I fear we will lose the progress that has been made through the hard work of many civil rights activists. I know that I was not born in this country but I have been a part of it for the majority of my life. It is the country that watched me grow and gain confidence. It watched me flourish and it gave me wings. I never truly believed that I would make it as far as college. An uncertainty always existed deep within me. It is especially prevalent in Latinos and even more with those of us who are undocumented.
It is not fair to fear police officers. It is not fair being uncertain about whether or not one's parents will come home from work. It is not fair not being able to dream about success simply because one lacks documentation... but then again who told us life was fair?
In order for me to feel safer on this campus, the University would have to assure us that the campus will be a safe haven for undocumented students. This would mean that ICE would not be allowed on this campus and the Santa Cruz police would not be working alongside ICE. A clear distinction should exist between police officers and ICE. Police officers are here to serve us and protect us not to generate fear.
I’ve always worked hard for the things I wanted. Getting into a university was a struggle but I know I belong here. I will not just lay down and die. I will continue to fight for the things that rightfully belong to me. Trump’s election will hopefully only be a small delay in our road to success. This much determination cannot be Trumped.
Student Response 2
To whom it may concern,
I am an AB-540 non-DACA incoming transfer student. I would to begin this letter by stating that my position is that whichever candidate a person voted for that does not make them my enemy. However, I stand opposed of Donald trump and the values that he ran his candidacy on. Nonetheless, he won the race, he will be our the next president, and I find him and everything he stands for distasteful. I will not root against him, but I will protest every decision he makes that is poor. I want the country to do well and believe in the good will of my fellow man. I hope beyond everything that good comes from this somehow, but it is going to be difficult.
At the moment Donald Trump has appointed climate skeptic Myron Ebell to head the EPA’s transition team1. Ebell’s research focuses on global warming and opposing energy regulation and energy rationing policies. Trump has also hired Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobah, who was the architect of SB 1070 which passed in Arizona in 2010, this law is referred to as the most racist law in modern America History2. SB1070 allow police to racially profile and detain their communities on the basis of skin tone and accent. These choices for his transition team and possibly for his cabinet echoes the fears and worries my community and I had throughout the campaign.
Donald Trump ran on an anti-immigrant, race discriminatory and climate change denying rhetoric. He has normalized racism and hateful speech; him becoming president reaffirms the beliefs and convictions of the Americans that support such rhetoric. It has made it socially acceptable (to an extent) to refer to Mexicans like me, as criminals and rapists. It has created a national environment in which I feel my presence is undesired and unwelcomed. I am grateful; I live in California and my AB-540 status will stand up under a Trump presidency. Unfortunately, many of my fellow AB-540 peers who have DACA will have their privileges, that is deferred action and work authorization, on jeopardy.
It is for this that as an AB-540 UCSC student I implore for consideration for the hurdles and setback DACA and non-DACA students like myself will face under an administration with an anti-immigrant agenda. In the immediate future I will work with the EOP AB-540 Students. The AB-540 Students Office is working on a ballot proposition that would benefit AB-540 students in the future; the ballot initiative will be our attempt to counteract or buffer any future federal policy that might economically cripple UCSC students.
I am proud to be a slug, and have only experienced a welcoming and supporting environment at UCSC. I am astound and grateful for all the resources I have found at UCSC, and for all staff that works to make my experience as student memorable.
Thank you for your time,
Student Response 3
This election causes me to feel angry and upset. Since I am undocumented I understand that Trump’s election can cause me to lose everything I have, my work permit and my legal presence . Not only me but many of my family members can be affected by this election. I understand that the president doesn’t have all the power but now congress is filled by mostly republicans. I am afraid to be the antagonist and for other people to separate me from my family. I am afraid to say I am undocumented because of the consequences it can bring me.
The university could make me feel safe by still providing jobs for undocumented people. Also by not allowing racist groups on campus and by not allowing ICE on campus. If the campus still enabled lawyers or legal advising, that would be very helpful. I would like to continue my education, so if they continue providing me with financial help, that would encourage me to continue my education.
Student Response 4
As an undocumented student, I have always been stressed and worried when it comes to my legal status. My legal status has stopped me from traveling and going back to India. I know the reason we came here was for a better future; in order to succeed in life. My family’s hope has always been that we will get through it together, but because we are all scattered around California it has been very difficult to voice our concerns as a family. Yet, every time I talk to my mom and my sister they mention their concerns and how scared they are with the outcome. I feel like most people aren't very concerned with Trump’s presidency because they don’t see Trump as a threat to their freedom and education. Most of the time it is quite scary to be AB540 during the time of the election. It scares me to think about everything that could be taken away from me. This election had a lot of impact on the lives of undocumented people. The terror and sadness in my mother's voice made me want to do something but the reality is that it feels like there is nothing that I can do. The university has tried to make the community safe. Since Santa Cruz is such a liberal town, I do not really feel the tension here, but the impact of the election nationwide has opened my eyes to the conservative majority in the rest of the country. Furthermore, because most of my friends are unaware of the fact that I am an AB540 student, most of the time I don't even think about my legal status here. This has helped see myself as no longer “illegal” but as equal to everyone else. The DACA policy has offered my family so many opportunities that would not have been possible without it. My sister and I would not have been able to pursue the higher education that our mother brought us here to accomplish. I hope that everything will work out and hopefully our status will become legal. There is frustration among the undocumented community that it is uncertain how the community as a whole should approach the situation. Sometimes it feels as though those whom were born here do not appreciate what they have. They take having a card and a series of numbers for granted. Though lots of people are supportive to the cause, a number of them do not acknowledge that we live life on a moment to moment basis. My mom discourages me from protesting in fear that something might happen to me. I will always have hope that one day we will have legal status in the United States and we can go on to fulfill our dreams and goals.
Student Response 5
What do I do now? Am I safe? Is my family safe? Do I quit school? Should I go back to Mexico? Should I even try tomorrow? What does this mean? Am I going to be persecuted because of how I look? Am I allowed or is it even safe to speak my native language now? Should I hide? Should I just finish my degree and move on, instead of double majoring? Why are some people reluctant to sympathize with others? All of this revolved inside my head as soon as I realized Trump would win the election. The faith I had in the people of this country was obliterated in a nanosecond. Everything I thought I knew about the cherished values of this beautiful, diverse, and tolerable country went out the window that night. I felt betrayed by humanity and I was terrified for my family’s future. I know I have more possibilities to walk out of a detention center if I were to be detained, but what about my mom or my dad? I panicked and cried that night because I felt like I was being forced to go back into the shadows. I felt like my parent’s sacrifices were wasted in the blink of an eye. At one point, I remember thinking of everything this man had said throughout his campaign and to think that he was elected anyways, makes me sick to my stomach. I was disgusted with all those who excuse his behavior because if it were someone of color, minority background, homosexual, transgender, or anything that does not fit into their illusion of the “norm,” the person would have been destroyed by the entire country and media. However, Trump was celebrated and defended countless times. I did not want to believe we were going back in time to the 50’s and 60’s when racism was normalized and seemed as if it were a tool for improvement among the races. That is what happened the day after his election. Story after story of racial and hate crimes. Now the pure white nationalists and hatred movement have a lead at the head of the highest office in the United States government. They feel empowered to show their true, raw, and nasty colors. To an extent, I do not blame all of those people because hatred, racism, and ignorance is not embedded at birth; we all learn it somewhere. I am ashamed of a country that decided to pretend diversity and inclusion was a given.
I am ashamed of a nation that decided to put money and the wealthy above their values. I am ashamed of a country that uses religious ideology to excuse their number one sin; wishing their neighbor’s harm. One positive thing that came out of all this circus was my resilience. It awakened hunger and passion to mobilize and organize against any form of hatred. A resistance within me was born to hold my head high and walk anywhere with confidence, knowing that I belong exactly where my two feet stand today. I am where I am because I fought for it, nobody handed me anything. So I will fight to the end for the rights of all human beings in a country that has forgotten its own history, out of convenience and fear. This country has forgotten that the land we stand on today, is not ours to be proclaimed. This is sacred land who welcomed imperialists when they were looking for a better life and future. Whether their intentions were solely economical, the country opened its arms to them and they betrayed the land and its native people. I will keep fighting. As for what the school can do for me to feel safe, it is hard to say because I do not know if they want to help out of their good conscience or just to feel good about themselves. I believe hearing the real stories and struggles of all of “us” who had been affected by this election would help them gain perspective as to what they need to do. I want to feel safe and know that my home, UC Santa Cruz would fight and protect us, no matter what. I want them to treat us like more than numbers in their paycheck or a charity case because we have faces, names, and a story that deserves to be heard. I am and always will be, Undocumented and Unafraid. I came out of the shadows and I am not going back.
Student Response 6
To whom it might concern:
My name is -- --; I am a first generation college student. I am majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Physics in this amazing school. The results of the elections were shocking in all aspects. There is not full description in words for what has succumbed the hearts of so many hard working students who are considered a minority. To the exchange of the hard work we put in everyday we receive insults, hatred, and degradation based on our background; looking at the color of my skin, rather than my abilities; my place of birth, rather than my work for the community; my accent, rather than the words which inspire others. How is it my fault that I was brought to this place many years ago, and attended school in this nation? How is it my fault that I am accustomed to this community and I cannot adapt to a different culture in an another country although I identify with its roots and I am proud of it?
By being a first generation college student, family, friends and many members of the community are counting on me. As an academic tutor what would I tell my elementary and middle school students for not finishing school due to “changes in the system?” As a friend, what would I say to my classmates when they see in me much potential in the classrooms and labs? As a family member, what would I say to my little nephews and nieces, when they ask me how they can go to college? As a member of the community, how would I help the people I want so eager to serve? As mindful of my own person, what my future will be if school for me is my life. Questions I have to answer, experiences I have to endure, feelings I have to oppress and dreams… Most importantly, who is going to find the cure for cancer if I’m not there?
Please consider not taking away any funds and resources from all minority students. The protection of their wellbeing and their families is highly impacted by the decisions made in this lovely school. For many students the only family they have is this community. I am and will always be a member of the UCSC family come rain or shine.
Student Response 7
Regarding the 2016 Elections, I feel really scared for myself but especially my family. I feel that the school has done an amazing job with providing us support. We are supported by CARE, EOP, along with having a petition to make UCSC a sanctuary campus. Due to this I feel like I'm in a safe environment. If I could have the school improve on something, it would be to provide more awareness of the struggle people of our status have to go through. I believe this is something that isn't talked about a lot. I wish students around us could be more compassionate towards our situation.
Student Response 8
As an undocumented student I feel like I have always had to work twice as hard than anyone else around me. When I came to the US, I had to not only learn English as fast as possible but also to keep up with the other students from my class to learn the content. My biggest hope has always been to be able to go back to my home country without having that fear knowing I won’t be able to come back to the U.S. The expectations I have as an undocumented student is to let my parents know their sacrifice was worth it; for them to know that all the struggles we have overcome were not in vain. To give them the satisfaction of knowing that the child of immigrants was able to overcome the cultural barriers and obtain a college education.
As of right now after the presidential election, I know that our community will overcome any obstacle that comes our way just like we’ve done in the past. I already feel safe and comfortable at UCSC. Knowing that there are a lot of resources for undocumented folks and allies that will help us with whatever we need makes me feel comfortable. However, in order to feel safer, I hope that the petition for UCSC to become a sanctuary passes.
1.Boccagno, Julia. Climate change denier is leading Trump’s EPA transition team. CBS NEWS. Nov. 11, 2016
2. Siegel, Benjamin. Trump Cabinet Contented Kris Kobach Brings Hardline Immigration Proposals to Meeting. ABC NEWS. Nov 20 2016.