Cabrini, SJU rally for new immigration system

By Kelsey Kastrava
February 21, 2010

Cabrini College and Saint Joseph’s University joined forces on Tuesday, Feb. 16, to rally on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform in hopes of reaching out to members of Congress.

“The Justice For Immigrants campaign is important, because we want our senators and representatives to hear our concerns,” Michelle McDermott, sophomore psychology major, said. “We want them to take into consideration our thoughts when it comes time to pass legislation.”

McDermott, along with other Catholic Relief Services ambassadors and representatives at Cabrini, have been hosting a postcard campaign in preparation for the rally. Students involved with CRS have influenced the campus to sign off on changing the current immigration system.

Students from both schools met in Grace Hall Atrium where a podium was open to anyone willing to speak on behalf of the campaign. Dr. Mary Laver, director of international partnerships, organized the rally with St. Joseph’s. Although her efforts in bringing the event together were apparent, she credited the accomplishment in advocating change to the students.

“Basically we’ve been trying to get classmates and faculty members to sign the postcards,” Michelle Costa, sophomore English and communication major, said. “It hasn’t been easy and not everyone says ‘yes.’ But, we wound up getting over 300 students to sign in a little over a week.”

St. Joseph’s students not only support Cabrini’s efforts in the campaign, but have also been recruiting supporters on their own campus.

“I was born in Mexico so any involvement with changing the current immigration system is important to me,” Mariana Fernandez, sophomore St. Joseph’s student, said. “At St. Joe’s we have classes and clubs that offer ways to get involved with social justice and the Justice For Immigrants campaign was one of them.”

All students at the rally were there in support of a new immigration system.

“It’s important to keep immigrant families together,” Jamie Tadrzynski, sophomore history and secondary education major, said. “I’ve seen firsthand families being displaced because of the current system. It’s just better for the children to have a stable family.”

Cabrini’s partnership with CRS has opened doors to help campaign and advocate for social change. Students of both Cabrini College and St. Joseph’s reached over 600 people to push their senators and representatives to act on the broken immigration system.

Cabrini’s ambassadors and representatives plan to continue pursuing people’s signatures for a couple more weeks.

“It’s the little things like these postcards that hopefully make all the difference,” Costa said.

For more information on the Justice For Immigrants post card campaign visit

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Kelsey Kastrava

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