For Juan Morales, a graduate student at Florida International University, Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to his college campus today dredges up memories from when he was 14 years old of the brutally divisive politics in his homeland, Venezuela. At a school with a heavily immigrant and international student population, he was far from alone in that feeling.
“This is an international school,” Morales says of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. “It’s an insult.”
Morales was among the hundred-plus students, faculty and alumni who gathered at FIU today to protest Pence, who visited the campus with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly to speak at the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America.
Outside the conference, protesters stood by barricades and chanted, “No hate, no fear. Immigrants are welcome here.”
Activists from groups like the Students for a Democratic Society’s FIU chapter — which co-organized the protest with the People’s Progressive Caucus of Miami-Dade and the Florida Immigrant Coalition — say they’ve been pushing administrators to publicly respond to Trump policies like his travel ban on Muslims.