Federal Job Fair Protest

February 3, 2009 5:49:45 PM PST
Blinded by a bandana. Silenced with tape. And bound by handcuffs. Protesters on Fresno State's campus said this is what an immigrant looks like when arrested by federal agents. Specifically, I.C.E., Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Fresno State student Walter Ramirez said he and two dozen others are angry the university allowed I.C.E. and the Border Patrol to set up and recruit students at the third annual Federal Job Fair. He calls the agents terrorists because they rip families apart during immigrant raids. He said, "And that's why we don't want them to come over here because there are other jobs that promote peace and community building and not community destroying. There's other jobs for college students."

Marco Correa just graduated from Fresno State with a criminology degree. He said, "I don't agree, I think I.C.E. does an important job as far as securing the country."

Correa believes I.C.E. and the Border Patrol are just doing their job. The recent grad scoured the booths of all 66 federal agencies at the job fair hoping to find a good fit and a possible career. He said, "Long-term, a retirement plan, things like that the Federal Government offers things like that and it's definitely more secure."

A lot of students are nervous about entering the volatile job market where it seems more people are getting laid off than hired. But Roberto Gonzalez, who organized the job fair, says it's a great time to explore options with the feds because 40% of government workers are expected to retire next year. He said, "There's going to be a lot of opportunities for students who are willing to be mobile and enter as entry level jobs and then move up the ladder real fast."

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