Campus Life, News

We Are All Americans forum focuses on immigration myths

small group of students gathered in a Dooley Memorial classroom Tuesday night to discuss immigration and activism in America.

We Are All Americans, sponsored by Lambda Theta Phi Fraternity and the Alliance of Latin American Students (ALAS), focused on dispelling common myths and misconceptions surrounding modern-day immigration. The event hosted two guest speakers, including Maria Mejia, who helps organize events for Service Employees International Union (SEIU). SEIU is a labor union that fights for different workers’ rights, such as Fight for 15, in Miami-Dade and surrounding counties.

An immigrant herself, Mejia spoke about working in Little Havana, where the illegal-immigrant population is high and special volunteer events in the community help residents apply for citizenship. She said that providing people with opportunities to learn about their rights is crucial during an election year.

“It’s important for people to understand what rights they have,” Mejia said. “People only see what is said in the media and by voting, we have the voice to say whether we accept these things or not.”

Students were shown different video clips that include myths and common misconceptions of illegal immigrants – particularly Latinos. Some of the clips included businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and writer and political commentator Ann Coulter stating that illegal immigration is one of the biggest and most important issues facing America. These particular comments were what inspired the event, according to UM senior and event coordinator Rebecca Garcia.

“It’s not a topic that is talked about enough – at least in a very substantive manner,” Garcia said. “It’s an important discussion to have in light of all the racist, xenophobic discussion going around.”

The event also featured a guest speaker, Angie, who shared her story of emigration from her native gang-infected country of Honduras. Through tears and a cracked voice, she recounted the experience of fleeing her country after being threatened with death upon witnessing the kidnapping of her grandmother and aunt. Angie did not disclose her last name because she feared that the Honduran gangs could find her.

“My story is one of millions,” Angie said, fighting back tears.

Angie’s tale struck junior and Lambda Theta Phi brother Eunorick Duncan, who described it as “heartbreaking” and “hard to listen to.”

“To hear someone, who’s an immigrant, having to work their way to be just where you’re at is hard,” Duncan said. “We have to look through their eyes and see what their story really is.”

March 30, 2016

Reporters

Amanda Herrera

Amanda Herrera can be reached via email at aherrera@themiamihurricane.com and through Twitter at @_AmandaHerrera.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Hurricanes fans, get out your pencils, calendars and a list of your favorite hotels. The Atlantic Co ...

Three former Miami Hurricanes — defensive lineman Chad Thomas, offensive lineman KC McDermott and de ...

In all technicality, the Orange Bowl is a postseason, neutral-site bowl game that includes a top tea ...

When it comes to recruiting, the scariest sentence for Miami Hurricanes fans is this one: Nesta Silv ...

This time, there was no miracle Miami win over Duke. The fifth-ranked Blue Devils rallied from a 13- ...

As artificial Intelligence takes hold, tech visionary David Kenny stresses keeping human values in t ...

UM’s First Black Graduates Project committee visits an iconic D.C. museum for inspiration to create ...

The Beaux Arts Festival of Art debuts at a new site with picture-perfect weather and a panoply of or ...

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for a “Beloved Community” has inspired a number of University of ...

UM launches three cyber security certificate programs to equip professionals for the growing employm ...

The University of Miami released its 2018 football schedule Wednesday, highlighted by a nationally t ...

Notes from Miami's 2018 Football schedule. ...

Freshman jumper Hasani Knight was named ACC Men's Field Performer of the Week. ...

MIami volleyball signee Chloe Brown was named the 2017-18 Gatorade Oregon Volleyball Player of the Y ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team will play the first of two home games in a 31-d ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.