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Young, black and undocumented

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Photo courtesy of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Many student call Texas State home, but with recent legislation being passed, few do not know how much longer they will be at “home.”

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 6875-B, Caribbean Student Association and African Student Organization collaborated to host a forum Feb. 26 to discuss young, black, undocumented students.

The meeting sought to inform community members about immigrant groups that are often underrepresented such as those of African or Caribbean descent.

Interest for the organizations to collaborate developed because of the comments made by President Trump on Jan. 11 when in a meeting about immigration he asked lawmakers “why do we want all these people from ‘shithole’ countries’ coming here,” according to people in the meeting.

Grace Nwegbo, microbiology junior and president of ASO, said she was passionate about discussing the larger implications of these comments and was pleased that other organizations on campus wanted to collaborate.

“These countries are sending their brightest people here,” Nwegbo said. “They do a lot of research and work hard in order to stay here.”

The forum began by creating campaign video for the NAACP where Russel Boyd asked attendees a variety of trivia questions regarding the immigration system in the U.S., such as listing the qualifications for a diversity visa and the percentage of the population that are African immigrants. Once the campaign video is edited, it will be available the NAACP’s social media platforms.

Following the campaign video, attendees discussed the aforementioned remarks made by President Trump regarding immigrants from Caribbean and African countries. The discussion covered topics such as immigrants from ‘first world countries’ verses immigrants from ‘non-first world countries’, legacies of the slave trade and colonialism and racist sentiments expressed throughout the nation. Additionally, attendees discussed changing immigration laws, such as Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and the impacts they have on Caribbean and African immigrants.

Keyanna Hobbs, psychology senior, said she is affected by the changing immigration laws.

Hobbs said she attended the forum because she believes in the idea that knowledge is power and wanted to help educate others on the various types of immigrant experiences.

“It’s good to let people know that it’s not just one group of people; it’s multiple and various countries that are being affected, Hobbs said. “Also, you are hurting your own country, so you should want to know as well.”

Kevonna Malone, theater performance and production junior and member of CSA , attended the forum because she wants to be a part of creating a community more aware of and vocal about immigrant issues.

“With the people here, you never know what kind of impact they can have on other people,” Malone said. “What we couldn’t do (at the forum), other people can. You never know who is listening. We are pouring information into them and they can pour it into other people.” Malone said.

Collaborators of the forum said they hope this can be an ongoing topic among the Texas State community as laws centering on immigration continue to change.