The University of Arizona announced two students would be charged with misdemeanors for their roles in protesting a campus event featuring agents from Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The Arizona Republic reports the two students, who were not identified by the university, protested the border patrol agents when they came to campus to present to the Criminal Justice Association student group on March 19.

The students were reportedly outside the classroom where the agents were speaking calling them "Murder Patrol” and "an extension of the KKK,” according to a video of the incident reviewed by the local news outlet.

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In a letter posted online to the campus community late last week, University of Arizona President Robert Robbins said the incident “was a dramatic departure from our expectations of respectful behavior and support for free speech on this campus.”

The students have yet to be officially charged, but the statement said that university police “will be charging two of the students with interference with the peaceful conduct of an educational institution, a misdemeanor.”

Robbins said the charges stem from the “disruption” of the speaking event on campus.

“The student club and the CBP officers invited by the students should have been able to hold their meeting without disruption,” Robbins wrote. “Student protest is protected by our support for free speech, but disruption is not.”

Elected leaders from the university’s student government organization issued a statement following the March 19 speaking event and denounced the unannounced visits by CBP agents to campus.

“Simply put, unannounced visits by the U.S. Border Patrol are unacceptable,” the statement from March 21 read, adding that border patrol agents can negatively impact the university’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and undocumented community.

The University of Arizona’s DACA community issued a statement Monday saying the presence of border patrol agents on campus “has a traumatic impact on our overall well being,” according to student newspaper The Daily Wildcat.

 

Robbins’s letter states he has “assigned university staff to examine our processes to ensure we are working effectively to help prevent similar incidents in the future while maintaining the 1st Amendment right to free speech and protest.”