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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

State capitol trip inspires students

NE student Molly Faricy shares her experience at the TACHE conference and the Senate Bill 4 rally during a panel discussion at a TACHE-OLAS meeting March 8. Peter Matthews/The Collegian

By Kathryn Kelman/ne news editor

While in Austin for a conference, five NE students from the TACHE-OLAS club joined a rally on the steps of the state capitol with hundreds of others against Senate Bill 4, a sanctuary city bill Texas legislators are currently considering.

TACHE, the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, and OLAS, the Organization of Latin American Students, are committed to promoting the success and overall advancement of all Latinos and students of Spanish descent in the areas of academics and social and cultural awareness.

The conference focused on “inspiring and building a stronger nation through higher education” and featured sessions focused on challenges Latinos face and policy changes, NE Spanish instructor Humberto Rodriguez said.

“For me, it was very eye-opening,” he said. “I always thought I was really up to date with what was going on in the community.”

If passed, SB4 would allow  police officers, including those on college campuses, to ask people for immigration papers, and if they can’t prove their legal status in 48 hours, they could be deported, she said.

“It’s going to be important,” NE student Elier Gonzalez said.

He feels Latinos will be afraid of racial profiling and not reach out to police when real crime does happen, he said.

“It’s not gonna be better for anybody,” he said.

The conference had people from different universities and fields looking to make a change, involve students in the process of change and educate them on SB4, NE student Molly Faricy said.

“From everything that we gathered, the bill would allow for racial profiling,” she said. “It also affected me a lot specifically because of college campuses.”

TACHE-OLAS club members traveled to the state capitol Feb. 26 for the 42nd annual TACHE conference in Austin.
Photo courtesy Humberto Rodriguez

Students were scheduled to spend one morning at the capitol speaking with local legislators, but the anti-SB4 rally was not on their agenda. They were at the right place at the right time, said NE student Bridget Faricy, Molly’s sister.

“The president of our organization actually spoke at the rally too, but the conference wasn’t planned around the rally,” she said.

At the rally, Molly Faricy saw a sign that read “Campus police are supposed to protect, not deport,” and as a college student, she found it particularly impactful.

“Just to think that TCC policemen would be required to do this type of thing to our peers was very intense,” she said. “Not people far away, not people in other countries, it’s our fellow Texans.”

An 11-year-old girl, whose father had been deported after getting a traffic ticket, was one of several speakers at the rally. For NE student Mark Torres, the little girl reminded him of his own little sister, making it even more intense, he said.

“I was thinking, ‘What if my sister had to witness that, and what am I gonna do?’” he said.

Several religious speakers also spoke and opened up their churches for anyone in need. At one point, everyone held hands and prayed for all those who had been deported and their families, Torres said.

“It was an amazing experience to be there,” he said. “There’s a big difference in seeing a rally and being a part of it.”

The whole trip was a call to action, Bridget Faricy said.

“It kind of established a sense of duty,” she said.

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