3/9/2013 5:30:00 AM Students push for immigration, trafficking reform
Jeanine Atkins, Sen. Jeff Merkley's state director, is flanked by Jesuit students Amanda Carbonari, Katherine Benedict, Taylor Moscoe and Jasmine Lewong.
In December, Jesuit High School hosted the first Portland area Catholic high school social justice summit. The gathering of students focused on immigration and human trafficking. Students were encouraged to take what they learned at the summit and take action by lobbying elected representatives.
On Feb. 26, a group of students from Jesuit did just that. They met with the staffs of U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Senator Jeff Merkley to advocate for humane immigration reform and re-authorization of the anti-human trafficking law, which has expired.
“All the students shared stories of people they knew or had met who were affected by our broken immigration system or human trafficking," says Scott Powers, director of Christian service at Jesuit. "By bringing these stories to elected officials, students are putting a human face on important issues.”
Both congressional offices are supportive of the initiatives, so students asked what they can do to help make passage of both pieces of legislation more likely.
This is the third year in a row that students from Jesuit have met with elected officials to discuss immigration reform.