Students Stand Up For Immigrant Rights

Students Stand Up For Immigrant Rights

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Andrea Barron
December 07, 2012

The Fall 2012 Immigration Rights Project had the support and participation of students who came from all over the United States and international countries including:


  • China
  • Korea
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Panama
  • Honduras
  • Russia
  • Egypt
  • Sierra Leone
  • Australia
  • Belgium

Each participant was given the opportunity to learn about immigration policy and heard from Hispanic, Asian and Arab community leaders. They also participated in community-building activities such as:


  • Teaching English to Ethiopians
  • Tutoring Hispanic children
  • Assisting domestic violence victims
  • Helping young, undocumented immigrants apply for temporary work permits

Mary Joe Mejia, International Affairs intern and student at the University of Scranton, visited the Mexican and Salvadoran consulates with Mil Mujeres (“1000 women”), which helps abused Latina women who are not U.S. citizens apply for special visas that legalize their status in the U.S. “I heard some remarkable stories,” said Mary Joe, who immigrated from Honduras. ”One woman told me how her husband abused her. This man thought he was better than her just because of his legal status. She had medical records to prove what he did to her-- I even saw some bruises myself.”


Michael Gutierrez, Media and Communication intern and student at Texas Christian University, whose great-grandfather was from Mexico, was especially impressed by a presentation by Mark Haufrect, a lawyer with Mil Mujeres. “Two Latina women he helped could not stop praising Mark. I have volunteered at shelters for battered women and I know how difficult it is to win their trust.”


Olivia DiNucci, International Affairs intern and student at Emerson College, taught English every week at the Ethiopian Community Center: “The Ethiopian woman I tutored gave up everything with the hope her family would have the best life possible in America. Seeing how dedicated she was—and how long it took her to compose a three-sentence email—made me realize how privileged I am to have grown up a middle-class American.”


Photo: Mary Joe Mejia from the University of Scranton with Ivan Mejia from Mil Mujeres

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