Muslim and Latino students in California are targeted following Trump's election

A Muslim college student in San Diego was robbed and Latino high school students in Northern California were given mock “deportation letters” by a classmate in incidents that authorities believe were tied to Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president.

Two men confronted a female student in a parking lot stairwell at San Diego State University on Wednesday, “made comments about President-elect Trump and the Muslim community,” and then stole her keys and her car, university police said in a statement.

The university president said the woman was wearing a hijab, officials said. She was robbed of her purse and backpack, police said.

When she returned after tracking down police, she discovered that her car also had been stolen, police said.

In Redding, meanwhile, a student at Shasta High School handed out “deportation letters” to Latino classmates and a video of the incident was posted on Twitter, said Shasta Union High School District Supt. Jim Cloney, who said he believed the episode was related to Trump’s election.

“Obviously he thought he was being funny,” Cloney said, adding that no official discipline was planned for the student, though the school planned to talk to his family. “The students have taken the video down and that’s not reflective of [how] we want students to treat each other.”

A Muslim student at San Jose State University was choked Wednesday when a man approached her from behind in a school parking lot and pulled off her hijab. The college’s Muslim Student Assn. president told the Mercury News that racists and Islamophobes have become emboldened since Trumps’ election and that she believes the attack was connected to the election result, though the article provided no evidence of a link.

The university said the attack could be a hate crime but the investigation was continuing.

“There’s no way to know if it’s related to Trump’s election,” said university spokeswoman Pat Harris.

The incidents came a day after Trump’s surprising electoral victory and highlight the divisiveness of the campaign and the result, which has sparked protests nationwide during the last two days.

During the campaign, Trump railed against illegal immigration, describing arriving Mexicans as rapists and criminals and at one point suggested a “deportation force” would corral and deport all immigrants in the country illegally. He also called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the country.

In a joint statement Wednesday, the chancellor of the California State University system and the president of the California State Student Assn. reassured students and employees after the election that the college system would continue to support “advancing the rights of our students, faculty and staff.”

“We are unequivocally committed to supporting all members of our community. That is who we are. It is a core strength and part of our DNA,” the statement said.

University of California President Janet Napolitano and school chancellors also released a statement following the election saying in part that the system’s universities would continue to “foster an environment in which all are included.”

“The University of California will continue to pursue and protect these principles now and in the future, and urges our students, faculty, staff and all others associated with the university to do so as well,” the statement said.

joseph.serna@latimes.com

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