Arizona State University Professor Angeles Maldonado reportedly allowed students in her class to protest President Trump’s immigration policies in place of taking a final exam. Maldonado teaches a course on the Global Politics of Human Rights at the university’s Tempe campus. Her approximately 20 students had the the option of taking a test or creating a group project.
Maldonado’s students chose a group project. The professor told the Arizona Republic, “The class decided that as a group project they wanted to make their voices heard about the issues that are affecting them today, so instead of just reading about the human-rights violations, they’d speak out about the current violations that are happening.”
Having formed a human wall, the students chanted “Wall Against Hate!” in protest against Trump’s immigration and border policies while also seeking attention for sexaul identity causes and the Black Lives Matter movement. Campus police had to warn the students against blocking foot traffic on the sidewalk.
Afterward, ASU issued a statement in support of the students. “As an institution of higher education and an environment that promotes academic freedom, Arizona State University supports the free exchange and expression of ideas,” the statement said. “All individuals and groups on campus have the right to express their opinions, whatever those opinions may be, as long as they do not violate student code of conduct and student organization policies and do not infringe on another student’s individual rights. This policy applies to all students.”
Born in Mexico, Maldonado is a veteran of protests regarding immigration policy. According to her profile on the ASU website, Maldonado “has been closely involved in the immigrant rights movement in Arizona” and has “spent many hours organizing protests against Sheriff [Joe] Arpaio.”
According to the website of her husband, attorney Ray Ybarra Maldonado, Prof. Maldonado’s research “focuses on analyzing discourse in the immigrant rights movement,” while applying “Critical Race Theory and ‘Border Crit Theory,’...” Additionally, she sits on the “Community Advisory Board in the racial profiling case Ortega Melendres vs. Joseph Arpaio. Her role is to represent and engage the community in holding the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office accountable as they embark on the long journey of reform and restoring public trust in its operations.”