Garage hosts Immigration 101 event
● By Richard Gaw
Before nearly 100 guests in attendance, the Garage Community & Youth Center in Kennett Square played host on Nov. 5 to “Immigration 101,” an-hour long presentation by Isabel Naveira and Peyton Carper, third-year law students at Villanova University's Charles Widger School of Law.
Throughout their presentation, Naveira and Carper attempted to debunk six common conceptions about immigrants, many of which are currently magnified by national lawmakers and are at the forefront of a national issue. The misconceptions included the belief that it is easy for an immigrant to enter the U.S. legally; the facts behind the term, “Anchor Baby;” the truth about the impact of undocumented immigrants on taking jobs away from U.S. citizens; the perception that undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes; the belief that undocumented immigrants have a higher risk of committing serious and violent crimes than U.S.-born citizens; and the misconception that refugees are not subject to rigorous screening before entering the U.S.
Naveira and Carper belong to the Farmworkers Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC) at Villanova, which provides legal representation to low-income workers, particularly those who work in agricultural and agriculture-related professions throughout Pennsylvania.
The presentation also included a group of panelists – all of whom are either current or former students at the Garage – who shared stories of how immigration policies in the U.S. have impacted their lives and the lives of their families. They included Myra Zavala, a recent graduate of Penn State University; Gabriela Pedroza, legal assistant with he law firm of Sweet & Paciorek, LLC; Philadelphia attorney Nancy Ayllon-Ramirez, Esq. and Bruno Ortiz, a senior at Kennett High School, who came to the U.S. when he was 16 years old.
Note: An expanded account of this presentation will be published in the Nov. 14 edition of the Chester County Press.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.