by Arturo Pineda
“These daily injustices call for shouts; however, at Yale, we whisper.”
–Topiltzin Gomez, CC’18
Why do these students whisper? They whisper because they are undocumented students at Yale. Despite their talents and intelligence, undocumented students don’t have the same liberties as most Yalies. They cannot acquire internships, travel home with ease, or even work a campus job.
What can documented and undocumented students do to change this? They can join FWD.us.
FWD.us is a national immigration reform organization founded by Joe Green. The organization receives support from public figures like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Reid Hoffman, and Drew Houston.
Currently, FWD.us has four broad goals concerning comprehensive immigration reform:
-To secure the US-Mexico border, which will allow the United States to focus on internal resources and domestic affairs.
-To provide jobs for millions of families while simultaneously stimulating the economy.
-To secure a road to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people.
-To develop a simple and effective employment verification system, which will establish a streamlined process for admitting future workers.
In order to achieve these goals, FWD.us works closely with its local and state chapters. Yale has joined the movement by establishing the organization’s first collegiate chapter: FWDYale.
FWDYale was founded this semester by Carolina Rivera, after she interned at FWD.us. Prior to the internship, Rivera had no experience with immigration policy, but she did know that she wanted to “unite all the brilliant, young passionate students” around the issue of immigration reform.
Currently, FWD’s primary goal is to catalyze discussions among the student body so people become comfortable discussing immigration, and more specifically, the plight of being undocumented. To start the discussion, members of FWDYale are sharing their personal stories on FWD.us.
Not all undocumented students are willing to share their stories yet. Some students do not feel safe or comfortable enough to disclose their legal status. FWDYale aims to change this by providing these students with a safe haven that doubles as an outlet where they can share their stories.
Who can join FWDYale? In Rivera’s words, “I think anyone interested in joining this issue, politically, morally, should come. It has many different facets and people should join to explore this. We want people to start talking about it on a basic level [and] kindle conversation, [as it is] a very important issue in the current presidential debate. I want the student body to be informed about the issue.”
Photo from http://blog.fwd.us/yale-university-chapter.