What to Know
- Rutgers student Carimer Andujar came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic as a young child
- She was suddenly called to the ICE offices in Newark on Tuesday, sparking fears she may be deported
- She was ultimately allowed to stay, a victory for immigration advocates, who have been fighting the policies of President Trump
An undocumented immigrant and student activist at Rutgers was summoned to ICE immigration offices in Newark on Tuesday, fearful she would be ordered to her homeland, the Dominican Republic.
More than 100 people demonstrated outside the Peter W. Rodino, Jr. Federal Building in support of Carimer Andujar, a Rutgers junior and chemical engineering student. Andujar came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic at 4 years old and is a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
“I was very nervous, because when I first received the letter it was almost as if my entire world were flipped upside down,” Andujar said.
Andujar was ultimately not detained. She returned as a hero of sorts to the rally, and to cheers of “Ho, ho, hey, hey — Carimer is here to stay!”
“Will I decide to continue fighting for the rights of the undocumented people?” Andujar said. “The answer to that question is ‘yes.’”
ICE does not comment on individual cases, adding that it’s priority for those qualifying for DACA are threats to national security and public safety.
It was a victory for immigration advocates, who expect they will return to the federal building here over and over again for at least the next four years.
Montclair State University student Heather Francis was among the demonstrators. She said she has a “Dreamer” friend, an undocumented Mexican immigrant brought to the U.S. as a child.
“She’s very worried, and that’s why she’s not here today or other people either, because they want to lay low,” Francis said.
There are about 770,000 DACA students, or Dreamers, across the nation, according to government estimates. There are around 40,000 in New York, 21,000 in New Jersey and 4,700 in Connecticut.
A minister at the rally, Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, was seething with anger. He said four Indonesian immigrants he gave sanctuary to five years ago at his Highland Park church were called in and then detained on Monday — their future in the U.S. very much in doubt.
“As a minister of the church, I’m not supposed to talk about it, but I hate this place. I hate it,” Kaper-Dale said of the ICE office. “I hate everything it stands for.”