On February 16, NYIT College of Arts & Sciences presented “Know Your Rights!: A Teach-In on Immigration, Travel Bans, and Surveillance Technology,” featuring Mariko Hirose, senior staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). The program was hosted by Jennifer Griffiths, Ph.D., and was the first in what Dean James Simon hopes will be a series of presentations connecting issues raised in the classroom with extracurricular events.
“I’m teaching a Travel Literature class this semester,” explained Griffiths, “and it made sense to seize the opportunity to have a speaker address the travel ban and the issues related to freedom, civil liberties, and the culture it raises.”
During her presentation, which was also streamed to the Old Westbury campus, Hirose led attendees through the Trump Executive Order, which restricted the entry of immigrants and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, as well as the various court challenges and rulings that have so far halted the implementation of the proposed travel ban.
Unfortunately, she admitted, there is still great uncertainty about how the new administration will seek to address the issues raised by the courts or how they will handle other immigration matters, including the deportation of undocumented immigrants and the status of the young “Dreamers” currently protected under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). She encouraged everyone to visit the ACLU website to learn more about their rights as both immigrants and citizens.
If you are an international student and have questions, reach out to the NYIT Office of International Education.
By Ron Goldberg