I’ve just returned to my office at Armstrong Atlantic State University from the Student Union, where CNN was interviewing Latino students live on the air after President Obama’s speech about immigration reform in Las Vegas.
Like many other universities, Armstrong has a significant and growing Hispanic population. Unlike many of those universities, Armstrong is dealing with that growth and a panoply of related issues in a forward-thinking, proactive way through a variety of initiatives, including HOLA (Hispanic Outreach and Leadership at Armstrong) and Goizueta Foundation Scholars Fund.
President Obama’s speech outlined three straightforward principles that have broad bipartisan support: increased border security, a path to legal status for undocumented workers, and reform of our legal immigration system so that the country can benefit from the ideas and ingenuity of immigrants in the future as it has in the past. (I should note that the nation has already made huge strides in border security, an effort aided by a weak economy: the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. is estimated to have fallen by almost a million since 2007.)
I’m struck by the increasing boldness and forthrightness of young Hispanic adults, especially those who were brought here as young children by their parents and still don’t have legal status. Three Armstrong students — including an absolutely stellar former student of mine — are profiled in this separate piece by CNN, Immigrants’ days filled with fear, uncertainty, separation:
If I see a video clip of the Q&A with students after the speech, I’ll get that embedded or linked here on the blog.