Denver South refugee students meet with district leaders to voice immigration concerns

Superintendent Boasberg fires out against Trump
Posted at 6:26 PM, Jan 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-30 23:20:12-05

DENVER -- You can’t talk to more than a couple of students at Denver’s South High School without finding someone who is friends with or classmates with a refugee or immigrant.

Denver Public Schools said 70 countries are represented within the student body at South and that diversity is something the district and students there cherish.

Students at South told their stories of fleeing their home countries for a better life in America in a small group setting with district Superintendent Tom Boasberg and other district leaders sitting among them.

The concern among students is clear and justified, Boasberg said in the wake of President Trump’s announcement of executive orders enacting a ban of certain refugees into the United States.

Some students, such as Jeneba Belety, who is a refugee student at South, believes Trump’s immigration policies will leave Middle Eastern youths little choice but to join terrorist organizations.

"If you're pushing them out because you want to fight terrorism, aren't you creating terrorism? Because now, now those kids -- that's the only option, to join something like that,” said Belety.

Others like Shambel Zeru, who fled Africa and Ethiopia to come to America, told Denver7 he would like to see the open borders that welcomed he and his brother to a better life continued for other future generations of families and children.

“If I didn't have to walk three to four hours to go to school, I wouldn't come here. You as American citizens understood my problems and my struggles, therefore you welcomed me and my brother three years ago," said Zeru.

With students listening carefully, Superintendent Boasberg responded with a pointed message of disagreement for the recent actions by the Trump administration.

“It's unthinkable that on Holocaust Remembrance Day that we as a country and our leaders would shut off our borders from any shows such an extraordinary lack of learning from our own history,” said Boasberg.

Many students native to Colorado and those from across the world told Denver7 they're proud of the diversity at Denver South and ask for President Trump to roll back the travel ban and strong immigration policy, so the make-up of schools like South and others across the district doesn’t change.


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