Vigil held in support of making Cerritos College a sanctuary school


Karla Enriquez

Students and community members gather around Political Science Professor Dennis Falcon as he gives a speech at the Candlelight Vigil on Tuesday, Nov. 22

Karla Enriquez, Managing Editor

“We’re a bridge, we’re like the tip of the sphere, we’re the light.”

Political Science Professor Dennis Falcon had a message of hope for the community who attended the Tuesday, Nov. 22 Protected Together Candlelight Vigil.

The Dream Club along with MEChA de Cerritos College and the Bellflower and Norwalk coalition hosted the vigil in support of Cerritos College becoming a sanctuary school.

Former senator and Dream Club member Luis Guzman said, “We’re having a candlelight vigil in support of making this school a sanctuary college, we invited people from the community. What it means basically, is we want it to be [a] safe space for all students.

“In light of the elections, students that are undocumented, there’s that fear that they might get deported. To be a safe campus, to be a sanctuary campus means that for example if ICE wants to come to the school and they want to get information on students that are undocumented, they won’t comply.

College President Dr. Jose Fierro assured students that the school will continue to protect and provide education for all students in a speech that followed one by Falcon and Guzman.

He said, “We have for many years welcomed all students and ensured that we protect all students and ensure access to education and we’re going to continue to do the same as we move forward. We’re going to take an additional step forward actively reassuring all the students in our community that we’re here to serve them, protect them and provide access to education.”

Fierro also asked for unity.

Falcon continued his metaphorical use of lights and bridges to drive the point home that the change students want to see starts with them.

“I tell my students, when you go home be the light, if your parents have questions about things on the news, talk about it, you’re the light, you’re the bridge. This kind of event brings us together that’s why the candle is symbolic.”

“We’re going to be the light and the bridge and it doesn’t take a million people to light the darkness,” Falcon said to the small crowd present including students, professors, administrators and trustees.

Moving forward, Guzman stated that legislation was presented to the board of trustees to make the college a sanctuary school but he will be presenting legislation to senate.