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DACA recipient says classmate launched harassment campaign to get her deported
The school says her harasser hasn’t done anything wrong.
In a tearful video shared on Sept. 10, Paola Garcia, a senior at Transylvania University who was brought to the United States at age 2, told viewers that Taylor Ragg, a fellow classmate, shared a screenshot of her Facebook page onto a group called “The 10th Crusade Enthusiasts” and ordered members to report her account, writing, “Everyone go report this illegal at my school bragging about breaking the law.”
Not only did the group members follow his lead, but they left threatening messages on her page to get her deported, one of them featuring photos of someone filling out an immigration authority tip form.
In the video, Garcia reads several of the comments addressed to her: “I can’t wait ’til your fucking cunt ass is gone.” “You and your N-word boyfriend need to leave.” “Hope you enjoyed your visit. Back to them dirt floors of your homeland, stinky ass.”
Despite these profane comments, Garcia’s school said Ragg didn’t violate the school’s nondiscrimination policy, because he simply directed people to respond to her Facebook page. Garcia refutes this, saying that the policy’s outline shows that Ragg was in violation. So, Garcia took matters into her own hands—at the end of her video, she asked that viewers contact her school and ask for Ragg’s expulsion.
“Racists are emboldened today, and he’s inciting them to harass me and report me,” Garcia said.
When reached for comment by the Lexington Herald-Leader, Ragg called the publication “fake news.” According to Death and Taxes, Ragg’s history with conservatism goes back further than his DACA-doxxing strategies—he’s allegedly a former legislative intern for the U.S. Senate, and a campus coordinator for a Rand Paul-supporting student group. He also appears to have spent time with white nationalist and alt-right leader Richard Spencer.
A spokesperson for the school released a statement on intolerance of bigotry, while school President Seamus Carey also sent out an email to students saying the school supports DACA.
Garcia, meanwhile, hopes she doesn’t have to face Ragg during spring’s graduation.
Watch Garcia’s entire video below:
H/T Death and Taxes
Update 10:30am CT, Sept. 14: BuzzFeed News confirms that Ragg is no longer at Transylvania University. Hours after the publication’s story ran yesterday, Michele Gaither Sparks, the school’s vice president for marketing and communications, sent an email to students saying, “Taylor Ragg is no longer enrolled at Transylvania University. Per University policy and federal laws, we cannot offer any further details into the matter.”
She would not comment on whether Ragg was expelled or left voluntarily.
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.