On October 25, Cabrini University’s campus was quiet. But that did not stop a specific group of people from standing up for what they thought was right.
All day on campus many people wore black shirts decorated with an American flag on it and writing that said, “I Stand with Immigrants.” This group of people, no matter what was going on with their school, decided to step up and take a stand for what was right with themselves, their family, and their friends on a special day called “I Stand with Immigrants Day of Action.” This was bigger than Cabrini, it was for the greater good of humanity.
Spotlight on advocacy
This event started in Founders Hall where current Cabrini students who have ties with immigration were all lined up at a table as volunteers. They were trying to get other students to engage in showing their support for immigration. This was done by simply taking down email addresses in which students can receive emails on current news and petitions they can sign to do what they can to help.
Cabrini was one of over 200 universities across the U.S. participating in this special day. Cabrini student and volunteer for the event Denard Vanegas said, “This is a way to showcase the support for immigrants and showcase all the good things immigrants bring to the United States. We’re here today with different options on how students can support immigrants and push for advocacy.”
Following that, the students trying to raise awareness on immigration then moved to the multipurpose room in Grace Hall, where it was more of an informative piece with educators Dr. Jerry Zurek, Dr. Nune Grigoryan, and Dr. Raymond Ward. These professionals went more into detail on topics and ways to help in an open discussion room of about 20 students who may be immigrants, children of immigrants, or want to have more knowledge about current immigrant affairs.
The many topics
Many topics were discussed such as “Know your rights,” DACA, and “Driving PA Forward.”
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, was started by the Obama administration in 2012, and allows certain individuals who meet program requirements, such as age and year of arrival to the United States, to request a grant of deferred action. Individuals who are granted DACA status are able to renew their grant and are eligible for work authorization. Driving PA Forward also provides undocumented immigrants with driver’s licenses.
Grigoryan, a professor of communications, is an immigrant from Armenia. She said, “Before 2003 in Pennsylvania if you were undocumented, you could still apply for a driver’s license. There is a coalition of organizations, communities, partners, and churches, it is a wide coalition of which we are a part of. What we are doing is proposing a bill that will change this legislation and will introduce a new visit to it that will guarantee that regardless of your immigration status you can apply for a driver’s license.”
This event showed the true care of the people of Cabrini for such a sensitive topic around the globe. These students and educators wanted to make a statement and help people understand that they are not alone. All in all, it was a very positive event that brought many people together for a great cause, not only on Cabrini’s campus but all over the country.