How young student advocates can help create a more just immigration system

Immigration rally | Congress Immigration
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By Carla Mendoza, UnidosUS Líderes Avanzando Fellow, Columbia University Student

Overwhelmed. Helpless. Scared. Angry.

These are the emotions that ran through me the first time I watched video footage of immigrant and refugee families being tear gassed at the U.S.-Mexico border. To me, and to many, this was the ultimate manifestation of President Donald J. Trump’s hateful “zero tolerance” rhetoric becoming a reality.

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Anyone who cares about human rights and democracy should have zero tolerance for these actions. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants and as a Columbia University student majoring in political science, ethnicity, and race, I certainly feel that way. In fact, it’s something I’ve been trying to address over the last year through my fellowship with UnidosUS’s Líderes Avanzando public policy training program.

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