Lambda Sigma Upsilon (LSU) hosted their first “I Stand With Immigrants” awareness event. LSU, like other Latino and Pro-immigrant groups around the United States, took the opportunity to sign up for the annual day of action with the organization, “I Stand With Immigrants.” The group provided LSU with shirts, stickers and other labeled materials that bring attention and solidarity to immigrants. The organization aims to provide the material to immigrant-friendly events in hopes of bringing light to our shared stories and diversity in America.
“We must have empathy toward each other. Politicians misconstrue the image of undocumented immigrants and, in turn, their rhetoric harms our community,” said Daniel Muñoz, president of the fraternity.
President Donald Trump stated earlier last week that Democrats “are about allowing crime… with open borders.” Dismissing the fact that the United States has historically taken in immigrants in need, the statement intentionally served as a way to attack Democrats without facts of the matter. The Vice President also claimed that Venezuela was funding the caravan of immigrants in support of Trump’s statement. Without evidence, the statement should have aroused suspicion. At the beginning of Brian Kemp’s candidate race for governor, he created an ad boasting that he would “round up criminal illegals,” on the back of his own truck. On all levels of government, fear against undocumented immigrants has been used to rally Americans and continue to harm undocumented people.
The event took place in the Chapel. Fifty shirts were given out by the LSU members. Muñoz and other members invited students, teachers and community members to share their experience with immigrants or as one. Dr. Jan Gregus spoke about the challenges he faced as an immigrant. Members of the South Georgia Immigrant Support Network spoke, welcoming students to volunteer for a variety of services to help immigrants. Pedro Escobar, an ABAC alumnus, spoke about his struggle being undocumented and the hardships to attain his citizenship.
“You only see what’s portrayed in the media. To see people who are your classmates speak is a powerful impact because it is very personal,” said Nikia Griggs.
The event provided a space for students who are immigrants to feel welcome. Teachers supported their students who vented the anxieties of the growing intolerant culture against immigrants. LSU plans to make the “I Stand With Immigrants” day of action an annual event to bring locals and other ABAC fellows to understand the life of an immigrant. It also harnessed the ability to come together and understand one another. The fraternity also hoped that it would be a way to motivate young Latinos who attended to make a change in their community and to feel comfortable to express their dreams to bring that change.
ABAC’s “I Stand With Immigrants” event reminds us that we are a diverse campus and that it is a home for students who are affected by the anti-immigrant rhetoric. Students continue to seek a space and a career that will help them give back to their communities.