Immigration Forum Will Feature Advocacy and Personal Stories

Protesters in Washington, D.C., holding a banner and the American flag.
“Immigration Reform,” by futureatlas.com. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.

A forum on immigration reform and featuring personal accounts will be held at 6 p.m. April 26 in the Liberal Arts Building, Gonzalez Auditorium (Room 108).

“Immigration: Advocacy and Personal Accounts” will feature speakers from the USM community; the Jackson-based Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance; Biloxi-based El Pueblo, an immigration legal services agency; and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Jacquelynn Johnson, a social work and psychology double major, is putting on the project as part of a human rights internship. “This is a topic we need to be talking about in Mississippi,” she says.

Johnson says reform is an issue for both undocumented immigrants and those who come to the U.S. legally to attend college and have to deal with a costly and bureaucratic process if they want to stay after.

“We’ll talk about how different statuses, economic statuses, play into the different types of immigration,” she says. “And how education plays a role in that as well.”

There were more than 430 international students at USM in 2017-18. “We really do have a big population of internationals on campus, whether first-generation immigrant or whatever it may look like,” Johnson says. “Bringing new people into our university can never be a bad thing, New people bring new things, new experiences, new cultures.”

If you have questions or need more information about the forum, contact Johnson at jacquelynn.johnson@usm.edu.

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