I co-facilitated the immigration workshop alongside Celina Barrios-Millner, an immigrant integration fellow for the city of Boston. Leading this workshop alongside an experienced and intellectual professional was beneficial, as she helped me to steer the discussion towards immigration issues most important to the youth.
Amidst Trump’s repeal of DACA and his implementation of other immigration reforms, he has raised a lot of uncertainty for undocumented students and their friends and families. Holding this conference during a heated political environment made it crucial that I sent forth the message that even with Trump in office, undocumented students are not alone.
In the city of Boston at least, undocumented students have more people with them, than against them. This is evident through all the resources we provided in this workshop including scholarship opportunities and community programs.
For many immigrants, coming to the United States often means a chance for a better future and education. But, this opportunity is now in question for undocumented students. What I hope participants got out of this workshop is that undocumented peers and their allies should not fret, because there are numerous resources in the city to help them.
The following excerpts were written in response to the prompt "If you were an immigrant, what would you want the country you're coming to to look like?"
In a perfect world, my ideal country would give immigrants a voice. If immigrants could vote, we will change everything.Immigrants need a voice in big decisions. -Belkis Montas
A government that sees police, and education system that sees no color, immigration status, or ethnicity. One that sees everyone as part of the human race. -Nickoliss Twohads
I would expect less hate crimes, segregation and stereotypes. I would expect better of this glorious place, NOT what Trump has turned it into. -Peter Raymond Gilliam
The people would be welcomed into a collective community in which immigrants can feel safe and not be so afraid of deportation or losing their families. Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger and help out in anyway they can. -Anna Pham
I would want schools to be integrated and not segregated because it all begins there. How? Well currently there is an achievement gap between schools not only in the United States but everywhere really. Which leads to an academic achievement gap, job gap, health care gap, life expectancy gap, etc. -Monica Dyesy
I would want America to be a country that would have a female president with reliable people in her cabinet, who not only understand the gravity of their jobs but who only want to serve the public.I would want people on TV to look like me in order so that little brown girls everywhere could learn: how to embrace their curves and their textured hair and the color of their skin. -Anonymous
I would want the country I am coming into to look like a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities and I would want their to be more support for immigrants from all organizations, and more opportunities for them to live out their dream. -Mageney Omar
I’m not sure what my ideal country would look or be like. Even so, the U.S. is a symbol of freedom, opportunity and anew. As of now, I find the U.S. is the opposite of its intent. -Calvin Tran
If I was an immigrant, I would want the country to be very accepting towards where I came from, not matter what terrorist attack happened from there in the past. -Wellington Matos
What I want to change about America today is the climate of non-cooperation I rarely see people having real and honest conversations. The first step to making America great again is talking not hating and shouting. -Anonymous
The country I would want it to look like would be for people to be more friendly and understanding and don’t discriminate anybody from either their skin color or background culture. And also a president who should take immigrants into consideration not just abandon them when they need help or when they are coming to America for opportunities. -Trenyce Williams
Firstly, Trump and his posse of ignorant privileged twerps would be impeached. Immediately. And we would bring back Obama because I want nothing but respect for MY president. Then we would have people learn about each other’s history -- real history. Not alternative facts. -Kanilla Charles
I’d like for it to be or have many sanctuary cities and kind, welcoming people. I also want for it to be diverse so that I’m not shy or feel left out. It may have aspects of America although the government may be tuned here and there. -Djibril Conte