President Donald Trump has proposed the construction of a wall between the U.S.’s and Mexico’s border. An informational panel discussion was presented on March 16th in order to address questions and information on the matter.
The panel consisted of Project Manager for Accreditation, Assessment and Development,
Jorge Arevalo; SXU student writing her senior seminar project on immigration, Patty Clohessy and SXU alum who is currently pursuing her Master’s degree, Elizabeth Crisostomo. Additionally, the panel was moderated by History and Political Science Associate Professor, Dr. Amanda Lopez.
The discussion was brought by UNIDOS, Mercy Students for Peace and Justice, and the Department of History and Political Science.
According to The White House, the border between the U.S. and Mexico is the busiest in the world. The border is 1,951 miles long. According to Senate lead Mitch McConnell, a total of $12-15 billion is estimated for the construction of the proposed wall. Although President Trump stated numerous times in the past that Mexico would pay for the proposed wall, the latest updates reveal that a 20% tax on all Mexican imports would be the source of the payment.
Additionally, deportations have already begun under Trump’s administration. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) stated that they are targeting ‘criminal’ immigrants, yet they will still deport a ‘non-violent’ immigrant if come across.
The history of the border between the U.S. and Mexico, history about the mass deportations, and facts about immigration, economy, and crime were all discussed by the panel. This was followed by a Q&A session in which the attendees participated sharing their experiences as well as asking questions.
For Dr. Lopez, this discussion was important to be held at SXU. “At this point, at least 35% of Saint Xavier University students are Latinos and many of our students they even though if they are citizens themselves, they have family members that are immigrants documented and undocumented and so I thought it was important to bring the whole community together to discuss the wall and what it means to us and to our families . . . I hope [the attendees] got informed and know that we all have similar experiences and that immigrants feel the solidarity” said Dr. Lopez.
A couple of the attendees shared their opinion to the Xavierite on the discussion.
“I think it showcased everyone’s different experience whether they are immigrants or not. It was really interesting to hear . . . [A lot] of Saint Xavier’s students are hispanic, so I feel like it really hits home here as well as for the immigrants from other countries, so I feel it was important to [discuss this],” said Egle Zelinkeviciute.
“It really humanized everything . . . to say, ‘there is somebody, a face, behind those words.’ Our school really strives itself on helping those who are immigrants. No one here really is just the typical student, everybody has their own story,” said Emily Bargouthi.
Genesis Garcia Fisher, President of SXU’s Mercy Students for Peace and Justice and co-organizer of the discussion, explained to the Xavierite that the clubs on campus came together to organize the discussion due to the stress of the political situation.
“I think it was important to answer questions about immigration, the wall, and the border, and to go more in depth than what we see in the media, especially right now at this political time where a lot of fallacies are being talked about and it was important to create a safe place for the students . . . We need to show that although this is where the country stands with the president that is not where our school stands and where the students stand. So it was partially to create a safe environment and to educate,” said Garcia Fisher.
This discussion was a part of Immigration Week held at SXU dedicated to immigrants who come from different countries. Several events were held throughout the week. “[Another day of the week] we had a huge map where students were pinning where there families were from and that was a beautiful symbol,” said Garcia Fisher.
For more information about the discussion of the wall between the U.S. and Mexico you may contact Dr. Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior News Editor