The Klau Center recently offered Notre Dame students the opportunity to learn about undocumented immigrants and the challenges they face when living in the United States. In a training session facilitated by the campus student organization UndocuAlly ND, participants discussed what undocumented immigration can look like, and how members of campus can make Notre Dame and the South Bend community a more safe and inclusive space.
The session was led by Sofia Casillas, a sophomore studying Political Science and Latino Studies. She encouraged participants to imagine scenarios where they might learn that someone on campus was an undocumented immigrant. Students learned to listen, ask questions for understanding, and to discourage others from assuming that immigrants are responsible for economic ills or burdens on society. The training also informed immigrants of their rights, should they be approached or questioned by police or immigration officers.
When asked why they chose to attend this training, students gave a variety of answers.
“As a child of Honduran immigrants that have been naturalized, I feel very privileged. But I still see a need for undocumented immigrants to be helped, especially in communities that aren’t sanctuary cities. I want to advocate for empathy and education for undocumented immigrants. I want to help create a safe space for others.” said Aiza Flores, a freshman.
“Immigrants don’t always look like what you think they will” said Yesenia Mendoza-Arriga, a sophomore studying Political Science and Latino Studies. “I wanted to do UndocuAlly because there are a lot of misconceptions about undocumented immigrants – especially on a campus like Notre Dame, where many students haven’t come from a mixed status family, or been previously exposed to an undocumented community.”
Questions about UndocuAlly ND can be submitted to Nicholas Crookston at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the program and register for future training opportunities, go to linktr.ee/undocuallynd or follow them on Instagram @undocuallynd.