April 24, 2019 | 63° F

Rutgers for Trump counters pro-immigration march down College Avenue

Photo by Dimitri Rodriguez |

Rutgers for Trump held a counter protest in response to the undocuRutgers pro-immigration rally on Tuesday afternoon.

Sporting “Make America Great Again” hats, flags and shirts, members of Rutgers for Trump counter-protested a pro-immigration demonstration held by a student group Tuesday evening on the steps of Brower Commons on the College Avenue campus.

About 10 Rutgers for Trump members marched from Brower to The Yard, chanting “build the wall” and “law and order.”

“We’re protesting the so-called pro-immigration march, which is actually for illegal immigrants," said Tudor Tarina, School of Arts and Sciences junior, who is an immigrant from Romania. “I support Trump because he has a hard stance on illegal immigration and I’m for law and order.”

He said he believes Trump can find a solution to the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.

“It shows the system is broken and it has to be fixed, but nobody is going to fix it if there is no interest for the American people. It’s a tough issue,” he said.

Glenn Bouthillette said he agrees the system is broken, and there has to be a way to fix it so immigrants can be vetted properly before entering the country.

“We care about legal immigrants who come in here with complete honesty and we love immigrants too, but we need to make sure they come here legally,” said the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences senior.

Bouthillette said there is always a legal pathway to citizenship.

After the two groups marched from Brower to The Yard, they returned to the Brower Steps where undocuRutgers chanted while faculty members and students spoke. During this, Rutgers for Trump often began chants including “WikiLeaks” and “Deport.”

During the protest a student from undocuRutgers said she came to America with her parents at 3 months old and is not yet a legal citizen.

“There is a police officer right there and we have people admitting to crimes on campus, and the campus doesn’t do anything to right the wrongs and bring justice to the school,” said Brandon Chesner, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student.

He said he does not understand why the University accepts students who do not have documents and are committing crimes. Instead, he suggests the University contacts ICE.

“The system is flawed against people of color, but our immigration laws are put in place to see who is coming in and out of our country,” said David Gonzalez, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student.

If Trump wins, he said there may be new reforms to let more people come in legally, because resources can be reallocated to allowing good, hard-working people to come into the country.

“Now we don’t have to worry about illegal immigration because there will be a big wall stopping it,” he said in reference to Trump’s immigration platform of building a wall along the border of the United States and Mexico.

The United States was made by immigrants, but the country should not be attracting people who are disrespectful to immigration laws, said Dylan Marek, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student.

“Go to California, Texas, New Mexico — you’ll see the effect of mass immigration in this country,” he said.

Marek said hard-working people and people who love America are who should be let into this country, rather than those who are the main source of cartels and are bringing drugs into the country.

Marek said Trump will stop the flow from the south of the United States border with a wall, adding "we're going to have a door" allowing people to come into the country legally.

“We’re going to take the criminal illegal aliens, people who came here illegally, violated our immigration law and then while they were here, either committed a crime, a felony even, they’re going back,” he said.

Both sides exchanged profane words and engaged in shouting matches. At the end of the demonstration, some undocuRutgers students and Rutgers for Trump members began debating, both civil and not.

One undocuRutgers supporter told a Rutgers for Trump member in Spanish that he was going to kill Trump, while another undocuRutgers supporter said it was counterproductive to speak like that.

Both sides have the right to express our own opinions, David Gonzalez said.

“When (undocuRutgers) silences our word, no one seems to give a sh*t, but when the Trump supporters do, it’s a problem,” he said.

While the protest focused on anti-illegal immigration, protesters debated more about Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton after the demonstration. There were several times Rutgers University Police Department stepped in to ensure safety on both sides.

“At the end of the day, we’re both here and we’re both equal,” Gonzalez said.

Sophie Nieto-Munoz is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in journalism and media studies and Italian. She is an associate news editor for The Daily Targum. You can find her on Twitter @snietomunoz for more.

Sophie Nieto-Munoz

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