Carson students rally for the second day
March 28, 2006
CARSON CITY – For the second day in a row, a group of Carson High School students walked out of class Tuesday to protest proposed immigration reform.
“We’re not sure how long we’ll have to be here in the freezing cold,” said Roberto Delao, 16, who helped spearhead the Monday walk around Carson City. “But we will be out here protesting.”
He has a problem with the proposed reform that would make illegal immigration, as well as aiding in it, a felony.
“The main thing is they want to imprison me for helping (others) out, when all we’re trying to do is help them make a daily living,” he said.
With Mexican flags flying, the group of students rallied to the honks and cheers of support coming from vehicles passing by on Saliman Road.
One driver asked where the American flag was. And while the students discussed purchasing a flag, none appeared while they were on their lunchbreak or soon thereafter.
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“We need American flags,” one girl said. “Everyone is taking it the wrong way, like we’re going to take over.”
Across the street, some Carson High School students rallied with signs that read “Lock the Border” and “Go Home.” Three deputies’ vehicles were nearby.
“We’re protesting the protest,” said 18-year-old Cody Barber. “(Illegal immigrants) should go home and have to come back legally.”
A few students commented they thought all illegal immigrants already in the United States should be allowed to become citizens. Others, like Tlaloc Lara, 14, a student at Opportunity High School, said that the borders should be unrestricted.
“They should open the borders not close them,” he said. “Opening the borders is going to help more people out.”
One of the youngest students at the protest was a fifth-grader from Mark Twain Elementary School, who said he hadn’t been at school all day, and that his cousin picked him up and brought him over.
“We’re protesting that George Bush wants every Mexican to go back to Mexico that does not have papers and I don’t want that bill to pass,” said Carson Middle School student Alejandro Monroy, who held up a sign with the fifth-grader.
At Eagle Valley Middle School, a group of students left campus after the morning bell rang Tuesday. Principal Ferd Mariani spoke with them at a gathering at Butti Way around 8 a.m. and told the group of between 60 to 70 students that they would be considered truant if they didn’t return.
The Carson City Sheriff’s Department was present and one male student was arrested.
“The majority of them came back,” Mariani said.
Back at school, Mariani encouraged the students to find another way to protest.
“I told them they could not protest without adult supervision,” he said. “That once they were on campus, they were under our supervision. We explained the potential difficulty of walking by themselves without supervision, that there are folks out there not supportive of their protest.”
About 10 Eagle Valley Middle School students chose not to go back to school and carried Mexican flags and signs down Fifth Street.
“We’re taking the risk of being suspended and being truant, but we have to do it,” said Alejandra Sandoval, 13.