Hundreds Rally in Newark for Carimer, the Undocumented Rutgers Student Facing Deportation

NEWARK, NJ — They met her with a hero’s welcome.

Carimer Andujar, the Rutgers University student facing deportation, emerged from the federal building on Broad Street in Newark around 10:30 a.m. to applause from hundreds of supporters. The 21-year-old undocumented immigrant came from a interview with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, who were deciding whether she’d stay in the country.

The agency has taken an interest in the outspoken on-campus activist. Her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals renewal form—which would allow her to continue to attend college without fear of deportation—had yet to be approved. But members of the Rutgers community and a fiery  group of activists rallied outside today, May 9, demanding ICE agents keep their “hands off Carimer.”

Sign Up for E-News

What ICE told Andujar and whether her DACA form has been renewed wasn’t immediately clear. Even so, she appeared positive and determined to continue advocating for immigrants in her address to the crowd.

“I do intend to stay here,” Andujar said after thanking her backers. “I do intend to finish my education, and I do intend to chase after my dreams.”

Andujar arrived in Newark for a 9 a.m. meeting requested by ICE. No one knew whether she’d be detained on the spot, as activists said other people have in recent days.

When she went upstairs, ICE agents asked her several questions and took her fingerprints, she said. Some of them must’ve also peered through the windows.

“They were well aware of the support I had waiting for me outside,” Andujar said, “from community members, from university leaders, from elected officials, from clergy.”

Indeed, a sizable crowd began to assemble outside the building after 8 a.m. in anticipation of the chemical-engineering student’s interview. Rutgers professors, students and activists joined with priests, aspiring politicians and local leaders to rally for Andujar and against President Donald Trump and his immigration policies.

Many of the faces were familiar to those in New Brunswick’s high-octane anti-Trump movement, a push whose members have acted quickly and often to stand up for undocumented immigrants.

“Let us stand with the new Americans who will build the 21st century of America,” Lucye Millerand, president of the Union of Rutgers Administrators, said, echoing a common sentiment in the movement. “Let us stand with Carimer.”

The #HandsOffCarimer campaign—which spread wildly on social media and has since attracted cameras from New York—came about due to Andujar’s connection to Rutgers AAUP-AFT, the union that represents roughly 7,000 faculty members.

After Andujar received a letter from ICE about two months ago, she approached Sherry Wolf, a senior organizer for the union. The young woman wasn’t sure if she should take her struggle public. Wolf said the decision was hers, adding that “the best defense is a good offense.”

From there, the Rutgers faculty union posted Andujar’s story on its Facebook page. Then it organized an action meeting for her supporters. Next came a rally in New Brunswick and then today’s demonstration, for which the group chartered a bus out of Rutgers.

But as much as Wolf and her colleagues showed up today for Andujar, they also mobilized for the 400 other undocumented students at Rutgers and any number of others elsewhere.

“DACA students were made to understand that having DACA status was some sort of protection, but we are finding out these last weeks that there is no armor of protection,” Wolf said, her voice loud and strained. “We will not allow this to become normal in this country.”

Among the dozen or so speakers were several of Andujar’s fellow Rutgers students. Some spoke about their experiences as an undocumented immigrant, while another described what it’s like to be a Muslim in Trump’s America.

Their common ground? Each speaker either felt oppressed or aimed to stand up for the oppressed.

The protesters filled the time between speakers with chants and song. They held signs that carried slogans like “I stand with Carimer,” “We are proud of you Carimer!” and “Defund ICE.”

While the pro-Andujar movement is grassroots, several elected officials and politicians have signed on to her cause.

Representatives of Phil Murphy, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone spoke in solidarity with Andujar and undocumented immigrants. Newark City Councilman Luis Quintana and Essex County Freeholder Rolando Bobadilla also condemned Trump and ICE.

Seth Kaper-Dale, a Highland Park pastor who’s running for governor and often frequents New Brunswick demonstrations, fired up the crowd with an angry tirade against the country’s budding anti-immigrant policies.

“As the minister of a church, I’m not supposed to want to talk about hate, but I hate this place,” he yelled, pointing to the ICE building. “This place right here is racial and ethnic cleansing American-style.”

But in the end, it was Andujar—interview-ready in dress clothes and her hair tied back in a bun—who most energized the crowd.

Having arrived in the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when she was 4 years old, she said she has always considered herself an American. If she were booted from the country, she said, she would lose her family and the only home she’s ever known.

Even so, she doesn’t plan to go silent, despite being on ICE’s radar. Many have speculated that her position as the founding president of UndocuRutgers, an immigrant-advocacy group, exposed her to deportation in the first place.

“My dedication to undocumented students and ensuring that they have the opportunities that they deserve remains,” she said. “I will fight back because I am here to stay.”

And, if only for today, it appears she has won.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 2:30 PM

Canela Grocery and Deli, Plainfield

Canela Grocery to Host Healthy Corner Store Event

Food & Drink Health & Wellness


Sat, March 24, 9:00 AM

Plainfield High School, Plainfield

2018 Community Empowerment Expo


Sat, March 24, 10:15 AM

Cedar Brook Park, Plainfield

Easter Egg Hunt

Arts & Entertainment

Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity Basketball News

The Holy Savior Academy Storm Varsity basketball team concluded a very successful season by capturing two championships over the weekend.  The Storm continued the basketball program’s winning ways when the team captured the school’s fourth consecutive Diocese of Metuchen CYM Varsity White Division Championship on its home court on Saturday evening.  The team then secured the ...

Freiman & Downey Bill Ensuring Homeowners who Prepaid Property Taxes Get State Income Tax Credit Advanced by Panel

March 22, 2018

Bill Will Require State to Recognize Prepaid Property Taxes for 2017 Returns

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Roy Freiman and Joann Downey introduced to ensure homeowners who prepaid property taxes last year because of federal tax law changes will get credit for doing so under 2017 state income taxes was advanced Thursday by an Assembly panel

The bill (A-2650) requires the ...


March 17, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2018 – Despite her rhetoric, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, failed Wednesday to deliver on her promise to make schools safer for our children.

The two-term congressperson was one of only 10 representatives that voted “nay” Wednesday afternoon on the STOP School Violence Act of 2018.

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a ...

Retro Fitness in Manahawkin Calls Stafford Police to Remove Man for Praying for Another Member

March 21, 2018

STAFFORD, NJ - Retro Fitness club member and Long Beach Township resident Craig Fasler was escorted by a member of the Stafford Township Police Department out of the gym because an employee accused him of sharing his faith in public. 

TAPinto Stafford-LBI was contacted by a Stafford Township resident about the incident that took place on Wednesday, March 21 around ...

La tienda de comestibles Canela de Plainfield acogerá el evento de la tienda Healthy Corner

March 19, 2018

PLAINFIELD, NJ - EZ Ride y la ciudad de Plainfield se han asociado una vez más con Canela Grocery and Deli para organizar un evento gratuito para los residentes que ofrece muestras gratis de bocadillos saludables, cupones, una rifa saludable de canastas e información nutricional. Atlantic Health también estará en el evento con una unidad móvil para proporcionar ...

Celebrando el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer

PLAINFIELD, NJ - Estimados Plainfield,

Yo fui criado por dos mujeres poderosas e generosas, y me pasaron principios y valores que me han guiado durante mi vida entera. Mi mama persiguió la oportunidad y busco una manera de proveer para su familia. Ella dejo la isla de Barbados para poder trabajar en los hogares de los Estados Unidos, creando e allanando un camino para que sus hijos lo ...

Innovador Plainfield

Estimados Plainfield,


El crecimiento requiere evolución, la evolución implica cambio, y el cambio conduce a la innovación. Plainfield está evolucionando. Nos estamos adaptando para cumplir con los requisitos del renacimiento que está formando el futuro. No podemos esperar cambio positivo y sostenible si continuamos con el mismo ritmo de las ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Queen Mary and the Cruiser

Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

“Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at the top of the ladder by the PO's heads when the wave hit me---waist high---and knocked me over. Looking astern---through the bulkhead door which was open, saw the stern of a ship sticking up out of ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Lilli DeJong by Janet Benton

Lilli De Jong by Janet Benton (Doubleday, 2017)


“It's said that every woman's painful labor is God's punishment. Eve ate an apple, and God pours wrath on every mother. So the Bible tells it.” (p.320)

The story of Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, which is the Biblical explanation for the extreme pains of childbirth, casts women in the role of ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)


Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...