ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Border control recruiters were the target at the University of New Mexico’s job fair Tuesday by a group of student protesters.
Video shows what the students are calling a peaceful protest. They held up a sign that said “stop separating our families and keep border control out of UNM.” But it didn’t take long before students were asked to leave.
“The fact that they were standing in front of us and protecting the border control instead of us who are students, gave a very strong statement to me,” said student Karla Molinar.
US Customs and Border Protection Agents were at the university to recruit, making them one of the 90 employers with a booth at UNM’s Career Expo.
“We do have some students that are walking out of the fair with a job or internship in hand,” said Jenna Crabb, Director of Career Services at UNM.
Protesters said they decided to create a scene at the fair to protect students here illegally at the university.
“For us, it’s difficult because it’s a traumatic experience,” said Molinar “They are people that use violent tactics to separate our family.”
After already being asked to leave, KRQE News 13’s cameras caught the students protesting again. This time they hung up a huge sign with a red X over the words border patrol. Within minutes, they were asked to take it down and complied.
UNM officials said their intentions are never to frighten students. They also said they encourage students to have a voice, but in this instance, they were interfering with other students getting equal opportunity to meet all the employers.
Officials said they gave the students other suggestions on how to get their point across.
“For example, getting a table here to be able to hand out fliers to educate our students,” said Crabb.
In the end, the agents recruited and the fair went on.
UNM said they told the students they could protest outside. They also encouraged them to set up a meeting so they could discuss their concerns further.
Border Patrol also released a statement saying they went to the fair to inform current UNM students and alumni about career opportunities, not to perform law enforcement duties.