As I’ve mentioned before, I spent last summer on a DukeEngage program set in Tucson, Arizona. As one would guess, the program’s primary focus was the U.S.-Mexican border conflict. I spent eight weeks learning about immigration policy and human rights; I was exposed to life in a political warzone, a life without documentation and, for many, a life without a silver lining.
A year later, I’m working for the New America Foundation, a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C. I’ve been writing for the foundation’s campaign blog, covering major and minor events that will surely effect the outcome of the election this November.
Last Friday, my boss came to my desk and asked if I’d heard about the latest executive order, a policy introduced by the Secretary of Homeland Security that would allow young undocumented citizens a chance at education and employment in the United States. She asked if I was interested in writing a blog post about the new policy, and I enthusiastically agreed to do it.
I spoke a bit about my experiences in Tucson during my interview with New America, so I’d imagine my boss was aware of how important this topic is to me when she asked me to write the article. One thing I learned about the immigration issue was that, regardless of which team you’re on, this is a human issue. It affects people – their livelihood, their chance to be educated, their chance to have opportunities that many of us take for granted. A year later, to be working in a politically active environment only 6 blocks away from the Rose Garden where President Obama presented an executive order that provides relief to so many of the people I interacted with in Tucson was mind-blowing. A year later, I’m reflecting on the experiences I had in Tucson, grateful that I learned as much as I did from the program and satisfied that small improvements are being made.
As I approach my final year as an undergraduate, I’m at once surprised, excited, and fascinated to see the way everything in life comes full circle. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time at Duke has in store for me.
The views and opinions of the bloggers on this page are their own; they do not necessarily represent the views of the Undergraduate Admissions Office or of Duke University.