A class in the Spanish Department, Spanish 250: Crossing the Border, has created a march to raise awareness about Immigration Reform: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. The class, taught by Mayra Taylor, has been studying immigration and received help from OLAS to organize the service project in order to raise awareness about immigration in the US, as well as promote basic human rights.
“Every year, the class engages in a project that connects to a relevant contemporary issue on immigration. This year the ‘Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act’ was a perfect fit,” Professor Mayra Taylor said.
This act is the first major immigration proposal in several years. It includes changes regarding Border Security and Legalization, Legal Immigration, Employment Verification, and Temporary Immigration.
“Our current system fails to make immigration regulated and safe for immigrants. We need to recognize that many undocumented workers are living with us and their human rights are being violated for profit. When preventable deaths are happening on U.S. soil, there is a problem,” Sophomore Mikaela Warner said.
If the Senate approves the bill, and there are not any major complications in the House of Representatives, the president could potentially be signing a version of the reform by mid-June. The final bill that congress will present to Obama may have major alterations from the Senate proposal.
The class chose to support this reform because it would impact the lives of over eleven million undocumented immigrants, as well as the general US population.
“Not only is this immigration reform about immigrants from Mexico, like our class talks about, but it is about all immigrants and their beauty they bring to this country,” Junior Emilie Scott said.
The march is a great opportunity for Gustavus students to speak up about an important issue that will impact the lives of people not only in their country, but also in their community.
“We hope that the march around campus will include a lot of students and will respectfully attract the attention of the campus in regards to this bill,” Taylor said.
Anyone interested in supporting the important issue is welcome, regardless of political affiliation.
“It is about political parties uniting to choose something that is best for the country but also for the people who need a better life and come to America,” Scott said.
The march will take place May 2, 2013. People will meet in front of the Jackson Campus Center at 12:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to wear their red, white, and blue. The signs and banners are going to be provided for the marchers.
“I am personally marching to add my voice to the millions that are already fighting for this common sense immigration reform. I am an undocumented immigrant marching because this is the land that I grew up on and call home. I march for my pathway to citizenship,” Sophomore Marcela Lopez, member of the executive board of OLAS said.
The class and OLAS strongly encourage everyone to raise their voices and join in on the march because ‘Llegó la Hora,’ (the time is now).