Supporters of Cal State L.A. Student Detained by Border Patrol Hold Silent Rally on Commencement Day

They marched in silence down the main walkway of the Cal State L.A. campus, amid the excitement of commencement day, holding up cardboard cutouts depicting a woman in a cap and gown with her fist raised.

Supporters of Claudia Rueda march in silence through the Cal State L.A. campus on May 20, 2017, before the school’s commencement ceremony. (Credit: Andrea Castillo / Los Angeles Times)

The signs called for the release of fellow student Claudia Rueda, 22, who was detained Thursday by Border Patrol agents.

Rueda’s detention sparked claims that she had been targeted in retaliation for protesting the arrest of her mother, who was swept up by federal agents during a massive cocaine bust last month. Rueda was moving her family’s car outside her aunt’s Boyle Heights home in the early morning hours when she was detained and taken to a federal facility near San Diego.

On Saturday, as families filed into the stadium before the start of commencement, about a dozen of Rueda’s supporters — including other students, activists and university professors — silently made their way through the campus. Their cardboard signs explained her story.

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