Local community and student leaders welcomed the news about Helen Aguirre Ferré stepping down as Chairwoman of the Miami Dade College’s Board of Trustees. Immediately after Aguirre accepted her new position as the Republican National Committee Hispanic spokesperson, immigrant families, students and local leaders publicly expressed their outrage asking her to resign or the College to remove her.
“I am overjoyed to learn that Helen Aguirre Ferré will no longer be the Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees at a College that has been praised for being one of the first in Florida to open its door to undocumented students,” said Lis-Marie Güegüense, a local leader. “She chose Trump over our Latino community. As a result, she is endorsing his racism and xenophobia, which is opposite to the core values of MDC. I hope she does the right thing in the near future and resigns from the MDC board altogether.”
“Our pressure worked! If we hadn’t stepped up to raise this as a problem for MDC, probably nothing would’ve happened. Now, Miami Dade College’s leadership needs to remove her entirely from the Board, they cannot afford having Helen Aguirre Ferre tarnish their reputation as a safe space for undocumented students and the Latino community,” said Maria Bilbao of United Families, an undocumented mother whose son was a student at MDC. “As we have said from the very beginning, she could not both represent a racist that is dividing this country and a community of students as diverse as Miami Dade College.”
“I invite the Miami-Dade College to consider fully removing Helene Aguirre from the Board of Trustees,” said Miami activist Thomas Kennedy. “Her ability to sit at the leadership table of this institution was immediately compromised when she became an enabler of Trump’s bigotry.”
Kennedy reiterated that leaders would continue to hold public figures like Aguirre and former FIU president Modesto Maidique, accountable for helping to spread Trump’s hateful message to other.
“It’s unconscionable that FIU’s South campus, which is 70% Latino, continues to be named after a man who recently hosted a $50,000 a plate fundraiser for Trump,” added Kennedy. “These are not the actions that we expect of allies of Miami’s multicultural community.”
Recent polls show that Trump’s support among Latinos continue to be at historically low levels for a major party candidate. Perhaps that is why Republican surrogates and spokespeople are increasingly looking to mislead the Latino community by suggesting that Trump and his party are pursuing a more compassionate policy on immigration. This despite the fact that the GOP platform and Trump’s own words suggest otherwise.
Local activists say that the community will not be fooled and have continued to rally against the businessman turned bigot, recently staging a wall of shame outside of a fundraiser in Doral and presenting officials with an invoice for the divisive wall that he is creating to among all Americans.
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