Student Organize Phone Banking on the Quad
By Alexander Marshall
On November 8th, 2016 the course of American history was forever changed with the election of Donald J. Trump to the highest office in the land. A year and six days later, 50+ determined Occidental students banded together and phone banked to fight against one of Trump’s biggest goals since his campaign days: the removal of undocumented immigrants from America. Among these students were Jessica Mitchell of Comparte and Lilia Jimenez from the Office of Community Engagement, who, under the supervision of advisor Valerie Lizarraga, facilitated the phone bank and assisted students in making calls to Mayor Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck concerning Special Order 40. The Special Order dictates the interactions between the Los Angeles Police Department and residents of the area they serve in terms of immigration related matters.
These students requested that, during the review of Special Order 40, care be taken to protect undocumented immigrants from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids facilitated by the LAPD by ensuring that the LAPD remain unable to question people specifically on their immigration status. Without Special Order 40, LAPD could become a tool for ICE to identify undocumented immigrants seeking a fresh start and a better life and deport them to awful living conditions at best, and a sure death at worst.
It is efforts such as the phone bank that ensure our legislators and leaders know that their constituents will not stand for the targeting of friends and neighbors because they were not born on American soil. Every voice counts and can push the agenda of a safer, more welcoming future for all. To get involved, contact the OCE at firstname.lastname@example.org.