“Voices of Immigration,” an event held last Monday night, attempted to begin dialogue about immigration on campus.
The event focused around the viewing of documentary called “The Dream is Now” about young undocumented college students and graduates.
“It is never the wrong time to push for justice,” said senior Dani Rogg before the event. Rogg is one of the students who planned the event.
After the documentary was shown, Frank Huebert, the director of services and outreach ministries, said the documentary only showed one side of the debate and they hoped future conversations would explore other sides of the issue of immigration.
“This is kind of a conversation starter for us,” Huebert said.
Rogg said the event grew out of a summit, which Rogg and other students attended in January about how to respond to immigration reform from a biblical perspective.
The group has created a Facebook page called “Exploring Immigration at JBU” which currently has 37 members.
“We want to start talking about this now even if it’s something as laid back as watching a documentary and eating dinner,” Rogg said.
Freshman Naomi Lind, who attended the event, said she was greatly impacted by the stories featured in the documentary.
“Even churches today, there is this concept that we need to get these people out of here,” Lind said. “This really isn’t any of our places to say if they should be here. They are more motivated than some Americans.”
Lind also said she sees a distinct difference between the ‘American Dream’ and the ‘Christian Dream.’
Senior Seth Burgett said it was interesting to see how the documentary connected current immigration concerns to past immigration concerns.
“It was a really good association,” Burgett said. “People are anti-reform because of a knee-jerk reaction called justice or law when that is so ironic when you look at how these people are treated.”
Senior Abby Fenema said if people do not push for immigration reform, they would be viewed in the same light as people who were prejudiced against immigrating populations in the past.
“We don’t have as much to lose, yet we are not doing anything about it,” Fenema said in reference to undocumented college students in the film who announced their undocumented statues at the risk of deportation.
For junior Garrett Wiley, immigration must be viewed in light of Matthew 25.
“If we are capable of helping in even the smallest way, we are supposed to,” said Wiley.