By SOPHIE WEBB, News Editor
Photo from Migrant Rights Coalition Facebook
Several Bryn Mawr students have come together to form the Migrant Rights Coalition, a club which works to support the rights of immigrants, particularly for those who are undocumented or arrived in the United States as children.
The club was created by the students of last year’s Migration and Borderlands 360. At the conclusion of their fieldwork in Tucson, Arizona, the students and professors involved in the 360 gathered together to discuss how they could continue their work after the semester ended. Thus was born the idea of the Migrant Rights Coalition.
The group aims to become involved in the fight for immigrants rights in the Philadelphia area, as well as to increase students’ awareness of the situation.
This club’s formation has come at an important moment in immigration policy—in September, the Trump administration repealed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (or DACA), a policy which allowed individuals who arrived in the United States illegally as children to remain in the United States in order to finish school or to serve in the military. According to the Pew Research Center, the loss of this policy will directly affect 690,000 young unauthorized immigrants, known as “dreamers”, who are currently enrolled in the program.
So far, the Migrant Rights Coalition has facilitated letter-writing and phone-calling of representatives and organized an open forum with the SGA e-board. They have also created a closed support group for members of the Bi-Co community who are undocumented or recipients of DACA to come together to talk and support one another.
“One of the goals of the club is to actually take action,” explained Rebeca Salas, BMC ‘19. “Bryn Mawr can get so caught up in conversations but not actually do them. I think that’s what we’re trying to change.”
Looking forward, the group plans to expand their reach in the Bi-Co and the surrounding community. After fall break they will be selling club stickers that read “Bi-Co for DACA,” attending protests, and looking to involve more people in the coalition.
“If people want to get involved they shouldn’t be scared to,” added executive board member Daniela Lopez, BMC ‘19. “We’re really open to everybody.”
“We’re not focusing on just Latino migration, we’re really trying to encompass every kind of migration,” echoed Salas. “We encourage people to learn with us!”