Teach-in series hosts panel on issues facing state's undocumented students and workers

undocumented

Ana Sofia Nuñez, an immigration attorney from Raleigh, discusses House Bill 63 and immigrants' rights on Wednesday during a panel on the topic of undocumented immigrants.

This event is part of The People’s Teach-In Series hosted by Respect For All Tar Heels, a series of discussions intended to facilitate communication between faculty, students and the rest of the campus community.

Jennifer Standish, a member of Respect For All Tar Heels and a first-year history Ph.D. student, said one of the main goals of the organization is to bridge the gap between different groups on campus, share resources and promote discussion between allies and people directly affected.

“Our goal is to bring faculty members, campus members, students and community members together to have a dialogue about these issues and so people can share their knowledge, their research and their resources on these issues that have become really relevant, like undocumented immigration,” she said.

Professor Krista Perreira, a health economist of migrant communities, spoke about how U.S. government policies promote poor physical and mental health, increase discrimination, increase poverty and reduce the prospects of education or economic stability for immigrants and their children.

“In short, they reduce the likelihood that children of immigrants will be able to achieve economic security in adulthood,” she said.

“We know what we have to do. We know what the research says. To create a more secure economic future for the children of immigrants in the U.S. and to create a secure economic future for the country, we need to stop marginalizing immigrants. Instead, we need to turn towards policies which welcome them, which help them to integrate into the U.S.”

Professor María DeGuzmán, director of Latina/o studies at UNC, said the United States should recognize the importance of Latinx.

“So, I think one of the things we can see, and Latinx writers have been doing this for a very long time, is to remind us of our history,” she said. “There is just no way you can separate the U.S. from Latinx. Latinx is a constituent part of the United States of America.”

Barbara Sostaita, a writer and sanctuary campus activist, spoke about sanctuary campuses, discrimination against immigrants and what other can do to get involved.

“I wanted to encourage those with legal status and citizenship privilege to be rabble rousers,” she said. “Cause trouble, because you can. Disrupt the system, make art, write a letter to your editor or an opinion editorial. Put pressure on our administration.”

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