As an ESU alumn and resident of Emporia from 2008 to 2013, I wonder what the City of Emporia and Emporia State are doing to ensure the safety of its undocumented citizens and students.

One can see clearly Trump’s recent blockade of Muslim refugees and declaration of “the wall” as a prelude to ICE raids, deportation, and worse.

Emporia has become a home to many seeking a better life and Emporia is greater for it.

When I moved to Lincoln Nebraska in 2015, I learned of the ICE raids in Grand Island Nebraska in 2006, how families were separated, and lives destroyed.

I also learned about Grand Island’s police department’s refusal to aid in raids, the public school system’s quick action to provide safety for students, and neighbors reaching out to those threatened with deportation. I learned that communities can resist these raids. Emporia can fight for itself.

Emporia and ESU can either choose to allow its immigrant and refugee population to disappear in the dead of night, fade slowly over time, or recommit it’s resources and power to keeping them safe. If students are not putting pressure on the city council, ASG, and the President’s office, then they are leaving the fate of their neighbors up to the malicious wave of xenophobia intent on creating a white haven that closely resembles hell.

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