La Raza Student Association members and students supporting migration rights met Tuesday in the La Raza Center to listen to speakers from Thoughty Organizer, a movement advocating immigrant rights in the United States.
Speakers Nancy Meza and Ana Karen Aloccer, as well as members of the California Immigrant Youth Justice Association, recently supported efforts to assist a migrant caravan at the San Ysidro border checkpoint seeking asylum Sunday.
“For today, our goal was to connect with the students here at Cal State Long Beach about the efforts we’re taking at both the institutional level, CIYJA and also on our own at Thoughty Organizer to really support the on the ground efforts happening right now with immigrants, the caravana and anti-deportation efforts,” Meza said.
Meza and Aloccer encouraged students to be creative and take advantage of resources at Long Beach State and in their community to support migrants and caravans crossing the border.
“As a student, you do have access to a lot of resources like a lab to edit videos, or like to record sound,” said Meza, who creates advocacy media for her organizations.
However, they believe the best way for students to get involved in advocacy work is to go to the border themselves and see what is happening to those attempting to enter the United States.
La Raza reached out as they saw that Thoughty Organizer was doing a lot of work to support the caravan and wanted to understand how the organization worked, Meza said.
Many who attended came to learn more about aid efforts at the border. For students like Nathan Carbajal, a third-year Chicano studies major, the issue strikes a personal note.
“I’m here because I’m Central American, so seeing mis compatriotas struggling affects me,” Carbajal said.
CIYJA, which is a coalition of young activists dedicated to immigration rights, works on creating action and liberating those affected by migration issues, Aloccer said.
Thoughty Organizer focuses on efforts such as #AbolishICE and the decriminalization of minorities, among various other immigration issues.
Thoughty Organizer also creates clothing with slogans such as “Abolish ICE” or “Abolish prisons.” Their organization uses more revealing styles for their clothes, playing the idea of being a “THOT” and expressing themselves and their cause through fashion, Meza said.
The organization encourages students to get involved and stand in solidarity with migrants by following the Thoughty Organizer page on Instagram. There they can get updates from organizers in Tijuana on services that people can provide to support their cause.
“Solidarity means that we back people up when they need us to back them up, it doesn’t mean that we get to set our own terms,” Meza said. “Solidarity means meeting people where they are at with the action that they requested.”