Know Your Rights!

Attendees to Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights!

by Catherine Fields

Morrill Scholars Isaac Cerda and Jakob Martinez agree that The Ohio State University's Latino Student Association (LSA) has made their transition to college smoother by providing a sense of familiarity within the majority white campus. On October 3, dozens of students joined together for an evening of education and empowerment at “Know Your Rights,” LSA-hosted event that provides an opportunity to learn more about the legal rights of immigrants and refugees in the United States.

Luis Valencia, an immigration lawyer with the Law Offices of Valencia and Diaz, spoke at the event about his own experiences in the field and those of his clients, the vast majority of whom are Latinx. In addition to sharing the hardships and prejudices that many of his clients face in the justice system, Valencia further spoke about the legal rights afforded to undocumented individuals. Attendees received both a card with a sample script of what to say if confronted by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent and a business card for the Law Offices of Valencia and Diaz.

Attendees also heard from representatives of Ohio State's Student Community of Progressive Empowerment (SCOPE), which works to support and serve undocumented students. SCOPE leader, Lydia Garcia, and faculty advisor, Elena Foulis, spoke about the challenges faced by undocumented individuals and ways in which everyone can practice allyship.

“Know Your Rights” was an engaging and informative meeting that left those in attendance with a greater understanding of the legal rights of immigrants and refugees. For more information, contact LSA at Herrera.111@osu.edu and SCOPE at scope.tosu@gmail.com.