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By The Express Editorial Board

Survival of the fittest sounds great as a mantra when it’s a motivational pep talk aimed at the competitive spirit. But liberty, freedom and even morality are not a competition. Such ideology ignores necessary human emotions such as empathy and compassion.

Sadly, this ancient concept has been adopted by the majority in America, driving political parties across the nation to attack and attempt to eliminate the “weak” among us. Of course, while the “fittest” component might be relevant in hunter-gatherer settings, in modern America it is a metaphor for privileged. Those with it are unaffected and unbothered by the slaughter of liberty and freedom that is happening with the immigration reform.

That is why we at The Express are pleased to be part of a college that is not willing to sacrifice empathy and compassion. We are proud that Las Positas is on the side of good in this fight.

In a desperate attempt to protect the aspiring undocumented immigrants, California became an official “sanctuary state.”

“Sanctifies” have been established, also known as places that have decided not to cooperate with the national immigration law and provide safe haven for those who are undocumented. California Governor Jerry Brown made it official by signing SB 54 into law on Jan. 1, 2018.

But even before then, Las Positas and the Chabot-Las Positas College District doubled down on its status as a sanctuary. Our school.

During the fall semester of 2017, the Board of trustees and the district office were able to work together with Las Positas and Chabot colleges to create resolutions separately, and specifically, for each campus.  This resulted in both becoming sanctuary campuses, a dire need for the local “dreamers.”

However, students are not completely safe. The red flag went up when the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan said that the agency would increase its presence in California due to the sanctuary state law, according to CNN journalist Dakin Andone

“California better hold on tight.  They’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers in the State of California,” Homan said in Andone’s article.

Homan’s comments were intensely threatening, as was his demeanor.

Young people should feel safe while pursuing an education, especially after the federal government made a deal offering them the path to citizenship if they were born in America.

Being non-white already comes with stigma, but being undocumented increases the difficulty of existing in peace. To undermine the natural right to pursue education by instilling fear in students with such threats is inhumane and un-American.

There have been other indirect, yet obvious, threats made in retaliation against California for being a sanctuary state — such as federal funds being withheld from those who undocumented students seeking financial aid. This is why it is more important now more than ever that LPC and Chabot stand together in unison.

Immigration is a bully. Unity is needed. The threat is real.  The fear is real. The U.S. Department of Immigration’s aggressive tactics completely ignore the trauma living in survival mode causes, a constant state of fight or flight, opening up millions of children to PTSD and a lonely sense of not belonging.

There is plenty of wealth, resources, love and space for undocumented people who were born here (and already approved by the government to exist without threat of deportation.) Ridding an entire population isn’t a matter of survival. This is about selfishness, privilege, and a depravation of core human principles.

We stand with our school, our district and our state.

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