Calexico Teachers March Against The Trump Wall
BY MARIO CONDE
The Associated Calexico Teachers organized a march against the proposed construction of a wall along the U.S-Mexico border.
Teachers, parents, students and community members met at Jefferson Elementary School in Calexico and peacefully walked to the border, where they locked arms with each other, their message was one of unity and integrity for the people on both sides of the border.
The construction of the wall along the border was the signature promise of the Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to stop illegal immigration. President Trump’s America First Budget proposes investing $2.6 billion in for the funding to plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border as directed by the President’s January 25, 2017 Executive Order.
The ACT argues that both sides of the border are linked in their identities, relationships, and economics.
James Taylor, President of the Calexico Teachers Association, said that other teachers associations across California are protesting Trump’s attacks on education and immigrant rights. Taylor mentioned that the Imperial Valley is made of an international population.
“It is a community of shared languages; it is a community in which people hold universal dreams, and it is a community that is targeted by the Trump administration.” Taylor said. “The wall is an expression of ignorance and hate and he wants to start building his wall right here in Calexico. To place a wall between us will symbolically divide us and will create sense of unneeded isolation and will negatively affect our way of life in the Imperial Valley.”
Calexico Teacher Carmina Ramirez spoke about life on the border and what she has achieved by having the experience of growing up on both sides of the border.
“Like most of my students I enjoy being bilingual, I enjoy the brotherhood of both countries, and what happens on both sides concerns me.”
Ramirez stated. “Our students are living in fear, we as teachers are seeing a rise in absenteeism and notice the fear in their voices wondering what will happen to them if their parents are deported. We as teachers believe that education is a human right and they deserve and education without fear and without threats. Mr. Trump, we do not agree with the wall and your ignorance towards our community. We received all of our students with open arms regardless where they come from.”
Calexico High School Class of 2013 graduate Hector Teran said that they need a bridge that brings people together and not walls that tears them apart.
“All students regardless if they were born across the border or right here in the Imperial Valley, they all deserve to receive a sound education so they become professionals. The wall will limit what makes the valley beautiful and what makes it beautiful the myriad of view points, culture and everything else that makes the Imperial Valley what it is,” Teran stated.
After the speeches, a group around 100 people that include teachers, students and parents walked four blocks to the border fence located on the corner of First and Andrade.