By Heather Rodriguez
The College of Liberal Arts, in collaboration with the Texas A&M University School of Law, will be holding a “Know Your Rights” workshop on Friday, February 16, 2017, from 4-6 p.m. in Langford Building C.
Pre-registration is required.
This informational session will provide an overview of legal and civil rights that protect international/Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)/undocumented people, LGBTQ+ individuals, and religious minorities. The workshop will also provide strategies to prepare and plan for emergencies, find legal representation, and access resources at the local and national levels.
“Texas A&M University has the most amount of international students in the entire country who are from the seven banned countries. We have a large number of faculty members and post-doc candidates from these countries as well,” said Srivi Ramasubramanian, associate dean for climate and inclusion and an organizer of the event. “We are the ones who are most affected by these executive orders.”
Ramasubramanian said that she’d heard of a lot of anxiety among students who felt particularly vulnerable.
“I thought, ‘What can we do to make our students feel protected?’” she said.
In addition to students from the countries named in the travel ban, Texas A&M also has many DACA and undocumented students.
“We are a public university in a state that borders with Mexico, and we offer some of the most affordable and excellent education in the state,” Ramasubramanian said. “Many of these students wonder if they would be deported. They’re here for an education; they’ve worked very hard to get here, like every other student.”
Because many students have expressed concern of attending the workshop, the event will be livestreamed courtesy of the Aggie Agora.
Ramasubramanian said there would also be a second workshop from 7-8:30 p.m. in the gym of St. Michael’s Episcopal School, sponsored by the Brazos Interfaith Immigration Network. She hopes that the off-campus location will help members of the community feel more comfortable attending. There will also be Spanish translators at this workshop.
“I’m so grateful to the presenters, who are coming all the way from Fort Worth to give two back-to-back presentations on an emotionally difficult topic,” Ramasubramanian said. “But this is just the beginning. We have to do more.”