Fifteen Penn students were among the hundreds of thousands of people who marched for immigration reform in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.
The demonstrators fought to regain the attention of Congress and remind the White House of its promises to overhaul the immigration system. The students in attendance described the spirit of the demonstration as “incredible.”
The Philadelphia branch of DreamActivist — a group dedicated to pushing the DREAM Act through Congress — organized the trip to the capital and invited Penn and Temple University students to join the rally, according to College sophomore Rose Brown, the vice president of the campus Chicano interest group MEChA.
Reform Immigration for America, a national organization, subsidized the transportation to the march, she said.
The DREAM Act is an immigration bill that will allow undocumented student immigrants to go to college and eventually apply for citizenship. Penn President Amy Gutmann sent a letter of support for the bill earlier this year.
The group of Penn students that attended the rally did so largely because of its support of the DREAM Act, according to Brown.
“It’s not just Amy Gutmann who endorsed it,” she said. “It’s important to show Penn students’ support.”
The students chose to attend the march not only for political reasons, but for personal ones as well, College sophomore and community service chair of Latino culture group ACELA Karla Molina said.
Most of the people on the trip were either immigrants or come from immigrant backgrounds, she explained.
“We made it, but we shouldn’t forget those students that don’t have the opportunity to go to college because of their immigration status,” she said.
Penn was one of many universities represented at the rally, College sophomore and MEChA member Ollin Venegas said, including Cornell and Princeton Universities.
The demonstration attracted many college students because of its direct impact on the education of undocumented immigrants.
However, Venegas said Penn should be more strongly involved than most because of its standing as a top national university.
Judging by the televised response of President Barack Obama, the march was successful in bringing the issue of immigration reform to the attention of the government, according to Molina.
It was a “step forward in getting our voices heard,” she said.
Both Venegas and Brown noted the sense of unity among the demonstrators.
“The spirit and charisma were amazing,” Venegas said.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.