As the son of an immigrant, I have had a passion for social justice issues concerning migrants for as long as I can remember. I remember vividly as a child my mother’s laborious path to finally becoming a citizen. My passion was only heightened as I witnessed the Trump Administration’s draconian policies towards immigrants. Measures leading to children being separated from their parents and using Title 42 to deny migrants basic constitutional and human rights are unconscionable. But then as I did my Note on Title 42, I realized that politicians have used similar tactics including imprisonment to try and keep immigrants out of our country.
My passion to do the opposite and help immigrants led me to not only write about but participate in immigration issues through Rutgers Camden’s Immigrant Justice Clinic (IJC). Along with my partner I have had the pleasure of assisting a client gain legal status. It has been difficult but rewarding work. But the IJC and the case that I have been working on have just reinforced how big of an issue immigration truly is and the work that needs to be done to ensure that all people, documented or not, have their rights protected.
This is why I decided to be a part of that effort and participate in the trip to the US- Mexico border in Tijuana. I am nervous but excited to use the legal knowledge I have attained to help those who have been marginalized and disenfranchised. I look forward to hearing these migrants’ stories of perseverance. I know hearing many of their tales may be difficult for me but not nearly as difficult as the lives these migrants have lived which forced them to trek across treacherous terrain to enter the U.S. I also look forward to enlightening them on their legal rights.
I am also truly excited to get to work for a week with such a passionate and extraordinary group of Rutgers students and staff who are similarly enthusiastic about assisting migrants in whatever way possible. I know I will learn and grow so much from this experience.
If you would like to help with the work we are doing you can make a donation to our GoFundMe page here.
All of us going on this trip know that the way migrants are being treated currently is unacceptable and that we must play our part to help those who need and deserve legal assistance in any way we can. These are people who enrich our country daily, and their rights must be protected.