NEW YORK —
There is a boisterous debate raging in the U.S. presidential campaign over immigration -- sparked by the leading Republican candidate -- Donald Trump who wants 11 million illegal immigrants deported. But a group of undocumented college students in New York City, who are temporarily protected from deportation, put the issue into a different perspective.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's rhetoric, including calls for mass deportations, foments strong feelings on the campaign trail.
“When Mexico sends its people//they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people,” said Trump in recent controversial remarks.
But on campuses of the City of New York University, known as CUNY, some of the students who could be most at risk are not so concerned.
“I just think he’s a bully. Life is full of bullies. And the only way to get ahead of them is to not pay attention, ignore the bullies,” said Tatiana Borda, a CUNY student.
Tatiana is one of many in a group called CUNY DREAMers -- students who came to the U.S. illegally as children, but protected from deportation by President Obama. They say harsh criticism of immigrants is nothing new.
“As of recent there have been some pretty provocative things that have been said by one particular person, and, to be honest it really doesn’t affect me,” said Josepha Helstone, another CUNY student.
Hispanic television anchorman Jorge Ramos revealed just how explosive the issue has become after a testy exchange with Trump at a recent press conference ended in Ramos’ ejection from the event.
Meanwhile, another Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, has been sharply critical of Trump's deportation plan.
“Mr. Trump believes that you can just round people up and that’s just an easy thing to do because he’s a successful guy and he’ll have successful people do it and it’ll all work out,” said Bush.
Dreamer student Francisco Tecaxco just wants the presidential candidates to watch what they do.
“A lot of Republicans see undocumented students or immigrants as criminals. And all those negative comments --and we just show them that that’s not true, that there’s many good students. We’re in college, we’re finding out way to go to college," said Tecaxco.
These students know the next president will not take office for another year and a half, and it's only then they might have to face the prospect of deportation.