Students to shed light on U.S. immigration issues

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

Students will be able to learn about what an immigrant goes through when coming to the United States during the Latin American Student Organization’s Undocumented Americans Week.

Matthew Wilkie, the vice president of LASO, said the week will showcase the experiences and issues undocumented people go through when coming to the U.S.

Wilkie said one of the myths is that people only emigrate to the U.S., but that is far from the truth.

“This week will hopefully address those representations and clear up any false lighting,” Wilkie said.

Kicking off the week will be a lecture at 7 p.m. Monday in the Phipps Lecture Hall of the Physical Science Building titled “Entering the New World,” which will discuss the myths and what immigrants contribute to the U.S. in terms of culture.

Wilkie said undocumented immigrants tend to take jobs many Americans refuse to do, and they also contribute to the country because they bring in their own culture to the already diverse U.S.

“Everyone calls the U.S. the melting pot of culture,” Wilkie said.

Wilkie said because the country has such a dense population of more than 300 million people, he could see why the U.S. is so strict on allowing immigrants into the states.

The week will also feature another panel discussion called “Shining Light for a Better Tomorrow,” covering the experiences of undocumented workers when they come into America, at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Charleston/Mattoon Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

President Barack Obama has taken executive actions to lessen illegal immigration at the U.S. borders, make sure felons and not families are deported, and make sure immigrants have criminal background checks and pay taxes.

Wilkie said he agrees with Obama’s immigration policy, especially on the subject of deporting felons, not families. Wilkie said people should be able to live in the U.S. if they are contributing to the work force and not doing anything illegal.

The goals for the week are to educate as many students as possible on the subject and bring people together to better understand the issues.

“Immigration is a huge part of the U.S,” Wilkie said.

The week will also consist of a walking taco sale at 11 a.m. Friday in Coleman Hall and a movie screening of “Under the Same Moon” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Coleman Auditorium.

Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].