Know Your Rights and What Allies Can Do

Due to widespread uncertainty surrounding recent executive orders and changes in immigration enforcement, the Center and several campus and community partners organized a panel and discussion intended to educate our community about basic rights granted to all individuals regardless of country of origin. In addition, the event served to gather and inform allies of what they can do to support and protect DREAMers and DACA recipients at KU and in our communities. 

The panel discussion brought together administrators, lawyers, scholars, and staff, engaged in the shifting landscape of immigration policy locally and nationally.

Panelists included:

  • Charlie Bankart, Associate Vice Provost of International Programs;
  • Doug Bonney, Chief Counsel & Legal Director, ACLU Foundation of Kansas;
  • Lua Kamal Yuille, Associate Professor of Law;
  • Stacy Mendez, Director, Heartland College Assistance Migrant Program;
  • Alejandra Hernández-Castro, Coordinator, Heartland College Assistance Migrant Program.

Panelists discussed basic rights and privileges that are meant to protect individuals and limit unlawful overreach of authority, including what should and should not be said to authority figures, how to react when presented with “official” documents or coerced to comply with orders that violate fundamental rights, and strategies that can help prevent or mitigate escalation. 

Furthermore, panelists told stories from undocumented immigrants that highlight a lack of  resources available to assist them as they journey through college Panelists discussed the dilemma faced by many and emphasized the need for the KU community to listen, learn, and become active allies.

The Center is appreciative of the Latinx Studies Initiative, Hispanic American Leadership Organization, Office of Vice Provost of Diversity and Equity, Office of Senior Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Kansas African Studies Center, Center for Migration Research, and Office of Multicultural Affairs who either organized resources or supported this discussion and workshop. Their engagement illustrates a strong interest to address concerns of inclusion and safety for students, faculty, and staff at KU.

Resources from the panel and discussion can be found at latamst.ku.edu, and a broader range of resources for undocumented immigrants, including students, can be found at latinxstudies.ku.edu/resources.


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