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Students reveal ICE deportation, other fears at forum on knife incident

Students continue to demand Dean of Students Jeffrey Klaus' resignation and the expulsion of the student who brandished a knife in class Feb. 25.

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Students reveal ICE deportation, other fears at forum on knife incident

Black student union representatives voice their concerns about the lack of action regarding the knife incident that occurred on Feb. 25.

Black student union representatives voice their concerns about the lack of action regarding the knife incident that occurred on Feb. 25.

Armando Jacobo | Daily 49er

Black student union representatives voice their concerns about the lack of action regarding the knife incident that occurred on Feb. 25.

Armando Jacobo | Daily 49er

Armando Jacobo | Daily 49er

Black student union representatives voice their concerns about the lack of action regarding the knife incident that occurred on Feb. 25.

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What was initially scheduled to be a 90-minute discussion between students and administration turned into a four and a half hour outpouring of students’ fear, frustration and demands for change March 23.

“We need to be able to come to our own campus and feel safe and secure that administration is doing their jobs,” a Muslim Student Association spokesperson said.

The student-led forum was held in the University Student Union Ballrooms, and the space was at capacity with around 500 students, faculty and staff.

At least 50 different speakers addressed their frustrations with the administration’s failure to notify Cal State Long Beach in a timely manner about the Feb. 25 incident when a 20-year-old student took out a knife in a sociology class on race, class and gender. They also discussed the anti-abortion Genocide Awareness Project, systemic racism and white supremacy.

Several student organizations attended the forum including La Raza, the Sociology Student Association, Chicano/a-Latino/a Studies Student Association, Black Student Union, Muslim Student Association, Safe Space CSU, Students for Justice in Palestine and the Coalition for Cultural Alliance.

Each organization made specific demands, some of which included the resignation of Dean of Students Jeffrey Klaus by Friday, the expulsion of the student who displayed a knife by April 6, a student oversight committee, increased transparency and safe spaces for students of color.

“It is important to acknowledge first and foremost that the knife incident highlights layers of anti-black racism,” said a student speaking on behalf of the SJP. “Specifically, misogynoir — the hatred of black women for their gender, their blackness, their sexuality and their mere existence.”

According to President Jane Close Conoley, the Long Beach Police Department is still investigating the incident and still needs to interview five more students. University Police turned the investigation over to LBPD because of a conflict of interest: the male student is both a relative to a UP officer and a community service officer who works for the UP.

SSA President Gissela Chavez had an additional incident in mind.

When Chavez approached the microphone, she held the police reports of an incident where an undocumented member of the Long Beach community was detained by CSULB police and deported to Tijuana within four hours of arrest.

His son and wife attended the forum to speak about their experience. The deportee’s son spoke on behalf of his mother, who did not speak English. He said the police pulled his father and himself over for a broken taillight.

After initially being permitted to leave, the deportee and his son were soon pulled over again by CSULB, according to the son.

According to the police report, which was given to the Daily 49er under the condition that the family’s names be withheld, CSULB police officer I. Sanchez pulled over a man and his son on Ximeno Avenue and Los Coyotes Diagonal Feb. 21 at 10:24 p.m. Officer Sanchez’s first name was not on the police report. When the officer had dispatch conduct a wants or warrants check, he discovered the man was wanted by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

The man said he’d been arrested 15 years ago for the possession and sale of drugs and had been deported to Mexico, according to the report. Sanchez, along with Corporal J. Millner and Officer M. Serrato, detained the man at the CSULB police station.

About two hours later, ICE agents Sanchez and Dwyer came to the station and took the man away in the back of their car. He was subsequently deported.

The Long Beach Police Department does not cooperate with ICE in accordance with the Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools Act since its enactment Jan. 1, 2014. The TRUST Act is a policy to require judicial review in order to honor federal immigration detainment requests, according to the LBPD. In a 2014 press release on the matter, then-Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said, “Long Beach’s position of holding ourselves to a higher compliance standard protects our residents by limiting potential liability and challenges.”

There were no warrants for the man’s arrest at the time he was arrested, according to the report.

His family said they were not notified that he had been deported to Tijuana.

“Within those four hours, we had a lawyer and everything ready. But I guess it wasn’t enough,” the son said.

“We are not in collaboration with ICE,” Conoley insisted.

Solorzano told the deported man’s wife that he had an open door if she wanted to talk about what happened to her husband.

“The police department here is not collaborating with ICE,” Solorzano said. “Yes, it did happen. And it was one in the 24 years, 25 years I’ve been here because of circumstances that surrounded this event. This was an isolated event. This is not something we do on a regular basis.”

The man’s wife continued to sob throughout Solorzano’s speech.  

When Conoley stepped up to the microphone to talk about what CSULB would do moving forward, she said that CSULB is governed by the Title 5 education code, not the California penal code.

“We will make a change in the — it’s the knife, literally the knife policy on page eight of the student handbook,” Conoley said. “I’m assuming the outcome will be no weapons … “

Several students interrupted Conoley as she tried to comment and some 10 students walked out of the forum during her statement. She asked students to allow her to speak since she’d taken notes and stayed quiet while they spoke.

“I know there are some things that students are frustrated about in terms of resignations, or firing or expelling,” Conoley later said. “But we have a rule of law, and I can’t step away from that. I think there will be disappointment, but we will follow up on every other issue that was brought up.”

Associated Students, Inc. President José Salazar condemned Jeffrey Klaus’ behavior and called for the “the resignation of the officer who deported the individual.”

“What got me today was the fact that our own police took a member of the community and sent them to ICE for deportation,” said Salazar. “Most of these students are first generation students. Most of their parents are migrants … Do you think they’re going to feel safe bringing their own family members to commencement to Cal State Long Beach, a place where we deport our community members?”

Salazar left the microphone in tears.

Irma Corona-Nieto, Financial Aid Counselor for Educational Opportunity Program Retention chided students for not showing more respect for Conoley or Solorzano.

“I have been here since 1975 and of all the presidents that I’ve experienced, and I’ve experienced Horn, McCrane, Maxson, Alexander,” Corona-Nieto said. “Just so that you guys are a little bit appreciative, this is the first time in the time I’ve been here that a president has taken the time to listen to you.

“We have to really give it to her that she’s got the pantalones that she has.”

Corona-Nieto said, “I am so proud of you because I was beginning to lose faith in the [millenials]. I was thinking you were passive. I was thinking you were asleep. I was thinking you didn’t care. And I was thinking you were just taking care of yourself and moving on, but I’m very proud of you … You’ve said that you’re embarrassed of Long Beach, I am not. L.B. has a beautiful history. L.B. has a lot of things to be proud of. And this moment is something to be proud of.”


This story has been updated to include information about the TRUST Act.

President Jane Conoley and CSULB Chief of Police Jose Espinosa listen to students at the open knife forum voice their concerns about lack of diversity on campus Wednesday at the USU Ballrooms.

Yasmin Cortez | Daily 49er
President Jane Conoley and CSULB Chief of Police Fernando Solarzano listen to students at the open knife forum voice their concerns about lack of diversity on campus Wednesday at the USU Ballrooms.


5 Responses to “Students reveal ICE deportation, other fears at forum on knife incident”

  1. Anon on March 24th, 2016 1:05 pm

    Jeffrey Klaus is currently battling cancer; cut the guy a break.

  2. Mac on March 24th, 2016 3:24 pm

    Facts do not matter to these mentally-fragile toddlers. They want to try and bully others into giving them what they want like they’re little brats. It doesn’t matter if it’s just or not.

    Klaus should not step down at all. We have a bunch of overgrown babies on this campus who are constantly in a state of outrage about something.

  3. Mac on March 24th, 2016 3:30 pm

    It is absolutely comical to hear someone get upset about immigration laws actually being enforced like they’re supposed to. Yeah, don’t get mad at the person who broke the law and came into the country illegally, let’s get mad at the officer who did his job.

  4. Victor on March 28th, 2016 4:51 pm

    Chances are that your ancestors stepped onto this land and stole it from Native Americans illegally homie. You better think about your roots, before you judge others.

  5. joe dutra on May 17th, 2016 1:08 pm

    Of coursr my great grand parents were immigrants.LEGAL IMMIGRANTS.They didnt have to sneak around in the shadows praying the wouldnt get caught.You cant ignore a law because its inconvienant for you.Can I run red lights all day because Im in a hurry? No.Have you ever traveled to a foreign country? You can not stay after your Visa runs out, NO EXCEPTIONS.They have the right to check your passport anytime they want.YOU ARE A VISITOR, VISITING! You swear to obey the laws of that country when you are allowed to enter.The depoorted visitor was sent home, lawfully.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.


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