Undocumented UNC students say they're fearful

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Undocumented UNC students say they're fearful
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Students and professors talked to ABC11 about how they felt

CHAPEL HILL, NC (WTVD) -- A meeting at UNC Chapel Hill Tuesday was intended to give undocumented students space to express their feelings.

Many said since the election of Donald Trump, they're fearful about the future and of reports of racists incident across the country since Trump's victory.

"There's anxiety. There's fear, and there's fear of those incidents, so this is one of the reasons we want our senior administration to reaffirm our anti-discrimination policy. I think that would be very helpful for students faculty and staff on campus," offered Paul Cuadros/Assoc. Professor, UNC School of Media & Journalism.

Bob Luebke, Senior Policy Analyst of Education for Civitas Institute said of President-Elect Donald Trump: "He said first of all he was going to go after the criminal element.. People that are in school there (UNC), if they're not involved in that element, they have no reason to worry."

But with reports of racist and anti-religious incidents nationally since the election, UNC graduate student Manuel Hernandez says many minority students have concerns.

"There's a lot of fear, a lot of anxiety, especially students who are minorities, that we will be targeted not just by our government but from groups and individuals who have hate in their heart," said Hernandez, who also attended the meeting.

Officials said there haven't been any of these incidents reported at UNC Chapel Hill since Nov. 8.

UNC has guidelines on undocumented students. They can be considered for admission if they graduate from a US high school, but they cannot get state or federal financial aid.

Students at the meeting talked about possibly planning an event to show their support of undocumented students.

"I wanted to come here to make sure that the university affirms its nondiscrimination policy and also that we as a country really affirm our commitment to civil rights, to human rights and to our immigrant identity," said Maria DeGuzman, the Latina/ Latino Studies Director at UNC Chapel Hill. "A lot of people are feeling a great deal of fear. This is also a mental health issue. It's a physical health issue."