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UA group puts up memorial in response to mock border fence

UA group puts up memorial in response to mock border fence

CREATED Mar 24, 2011

Reporter: Sergio Avila
Web Producer: Layla Tang

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -  A group of University of Arizona students decided to build their own display, after a human rights group erected a mock border wall in the middle of campus to protest crackdowns on illegal immigration.  The memorial to U.S. Border Patrol agents went up Wednesday morning, built by the College Republicans. It honors Border Patrol agents who put their lives on the line every day to protect our country both on the southern and northern border.

It has 112 small American flags planted in vases representing the men and women who have died serving the border patrol since 1904.  When Trey Terry saw the fence put up by the human right's group "No More Deaths" he knew the College Republicans had to act.

"There's always jokes around, 'cut the fence make it more realistic,' do things like that, but we wanted to do something that would at least become a tribute to those that actually protect and serve on our borders," Terry said.

Fence organizers told KGUN9 News the idea was to stir up discussion about immigration, but Terry saw it as a one-sided pro-immigrant project.

"We wanted to just draw attention also on campus that there is still common sense here on campus, we're not all just 'no borders, open border' people," Terry said.

Jennifer Sevillano was just one of the people who stopped to look at the memorial.  She feels especially connected to the display because her brother is a Border Patrol agent.

"I feel like our Border Patrol, anybody that works protecting our border usually gets such negative light. And it's nice to see them getting recognized for the positive things they do, which is protect our border," Sevillano said.

Other people realize the memorial proves an important point that the mock fence does not address.

"Well the fence I mean, it gets their point across but it ignores this kind of reality that's happening on the border," said UA student Jerome Longoria.

The College Republicans were able to get the memorial up within just a few days of the mock border fence going up, and they're hoping it will stay on campus through the end of the week.