Thursday over 250 people attended a protest in the Arts Quad, which was hosted by the Cornell Coalition for Inclusive Democracy. Per the Cornell Daily Sun, the protesters asked for the University to provide funds for illegal immigrants—even those unprotected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Also on their list of protesters’ demands was a call for the University to provide safe harbor to international scholars “fleeing dangerous situations abroad.”
The CCID posted its full list of demands on Facebook, which also called for the school to lobby for statewide and nationwide legislation against (1) the detention of illegal immigrants, (2) the designation of Muslim countries as dangerous, and (3) changes to the H1B visa that cut off some international hiring.
One of the protest’s organizers, Prof. Russell Rickford, led chants including, “No ban. No wall. Sanctuary for all.”
“No more deportations,” he stated, “No more raids. No more fear. None of us live with dignity while such atrocities continue.”
Prof. Joe Margulies said that students would find themselves in the minority in protesting these struggles, and compared the protesters to the few people who stood up against the Palmer Raids in 1920, when the US government deported foreigners in the height of the Red Scare.
“The truth is most people will never stand with you,” he said. “You will always be in a minority. But, the truth is, we look back on those periods now as periods of grave injustice, where time has turned against what was done. And you don’t need the majority; what you need is a very dedicated, involved minority.”
Prior to the protest, the University’s administration had already taken steps addressing the group’s issues, and announced that it planned to honor DACA and international students by providing them legal assistance when the need arose. It also plans to stand against ICE raids by “continuing to protect the privacy of our student information and records from unauthorized and unlawful intrusion.”