Kentucky College Student Says She Was Targeted Because of DACA Status

on Sep13

13 September 2017 | 10:30 pm

Over the weekend, Transylvania University student Paola Garcia posted a YouTube video in which she said she was targeted by a fellow student on social media because of her immigration status.

By Wednesday, that video had gone viral, and the student she named, Taylor Ragg, was no longer enrolled at the university.

In the video, a tearful Garcia talks about how she has lived in the United States since she was 2 and has faced all kinds of adversity. “I usually suck it up, bite my tongue, let it go. I never asked for help but that is what I am here to do now,” she said.

Garcia, born in Mexico, is in the United States under former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which President Trump is dismantling.

According to Garcia, Ragg posted a message in a closed Facebook group titled “10th Crusade Enthusiasts” in late August, which led to a flood of messages that ranged from threats of reporting her to immigration authorities to racially offensive remarks.

His post included a screenshot of Garcia’s Facebook profile along with his comment, “Everyone go report this illegal at my school.” 

Efforts to contact Ragg were unsuccessful; he has deleted his Facebook and Twitter accounts. The Lexington Herald Leader reported that when they asked for a comment, Ragg responded, “Lexington Herald Leader is Fake News.”

Garcia said that she took screenshots of all the threats and comments and reported them to university officials.  

Transylvania University initially released the following statement:

“Transylvania University does not condone or tolerate hatred, bigotry, bullying or harassment in any form and will address any such behavior in a manner consistent with our policies, procedures, and values as a University. We value every member of this community on the basis of their humanity, not on the basis of their ethnicity, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or legal status. We are aware of the situation that has occurred on social media and are investigating the matter very seriously. But per University policy, we cannot comment any further on any specific personnel or student issue.”

Later in the day, Michele Sparks, the vice president of Marketing and Communications, sent the following statement by email: “I am writing to inform you that Taylor Ragg is no longer enrolled at Transylvania University. Per University policy and federal laws, we cannot offer any further details into the matter.”  

Published 5 hours ago

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