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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA loses students to SB 1070

Approximately half a dozen people will not be coming to the UA as planned as a result of Senate Bill 1070, which deals with Arizona’s immigration policies, said Jennifer Fitzenberger, director of external communications. This news comes about two weeks after Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill into law. 

“”Families have e-mailed us on behalf of the students,””  Fitzenberger said.

UA President Robert Shelton wrote in an e-mail last week, “”We have already begun to feel an impact from SB 1070. The families of a number of out-of-state students (to date all of them honors students) have told us that they are changing their plans and will be sending their children to universities in other states.””

“”This should sadden anyone who cares about attracting the best and brightest students to Arizona,”” Shelton wrote.

Jessica Mejia, secretary and treasurer of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán and a junior majoring in history and Mexican American studies, described SB 1070 as “”scary.””

“”I think this will impact the university because we do get a lot of foreign exchange students coming here,”” Mejia said. “”I’ve been talking to students since this was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer, and they’re worried about what this means on campus, if they’re going to be harassed on campus.””

MEChA is a non-profit, student-run organization that focuses on Tucson youth and helping them get into college. As a member of MEChA, Mejia has heard a lot of negative feedback on the bill from students and faculty.

“”We had budget cuts, and now this. I don’t think the UA and the state of Arizona really understands what they’re doing to the education system,”” Mejia said.

Certain students hope the state will notice the negative impacts of the bill as would-be students choose to leave.

“”Some of the people I have talked to are kind of glad that students won’t be coming to the UA so the state will see implications of this bill,”” Mejia said.

Students are circulating a petition around campus in an effort to get Shelton to denounce the bill publicly.

Journalism senior Katie Pavlich thinks the admission withdrawals are unnecessary.

“”If these would-be students don’t want to be here, that’s fine. I would say that it’s an overreaction,”” Pavlich said. “”As long as you have your identification and driver’s license, you will be fine, and even as an out-of-country student, you need to carry your green card with you at all times.””

Pavlich believes that SB 1070 could reduce Arizona’s crime rate.

“”If you’re an illegal immigrant and get pulled over by a policeman, you’re already breaking the law in the first place, so being asked to show identification is no different,”” Pavlich said. “”This seems like a warrant, more than anything.””

Shelton also wrote in the e-mail sent out last week, “”Additionally, large numbers of UA students, faculty, staff and appointed professionals have expressed concerns that they or members of their families or their friends may now be subject to unwarranted detainment by police. Many of these individuals are from families that have been residents of Arizona for generations.  While I am completely confident that no one need fear the way that UAPD will approach the application of this law, I nevertheless appreciate the anxiety that friends and colleagues are feeling. It is a concern and fear that no one should have to harbor.””

The University of Arizona Police Department believes there is nothing to worry about.

“”I have nothing else to add to what (Shelton) said,”” said Sgt. Juan Alvarez, UAPD public information office. “”Laws change all the time, existing laws change all the time, new ones are added. Here at UAPD, we always work to protect civil rights, we spend a lot of time hiring people who will uphold the law as it stands and I don’t see that changing.””

 

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