The Spirit

Kino for Teens

Jake Gillis, Head News Editor

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In the wake of the controversy surrounding contemporary immigration politics, several Ignatius students formed the Kino for Teens Club. It is based on the summer immersion trip to the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Arizona. The Kinos Border Initiative is a coordinated effort by six Catholic organizations to stand in solidarity with migrants and the struggles they encounter. The leaders of Kino for Teens – Isabella Castillo, Alejandra Natera, Caitlin Benson, Caroline Hughes, Clarissa Martinez, Francisca Ibanez, Hermione Chadwick, Cristina Rinella, Leslie Catano, Eduardo Lopez, Ugomma Ugwu-Uche, Ashley Del Toro, Sayani Majmundar, and Jacob Conroy – described the goal as informing Ignatius students about the challenges faced by immigrants and treat them as human beings, as opposed to mere statistics.

Many of the Executive Board members of Kino for Teens participated in the immersion trip. Their experiences included volunteering at a soup kitchen and helping immigrants in cashing their checks and managing their medical records. Ashley Del Toro ’18, an Executive Board member, said that they established the club because it was “hard to walk away and not do anything about it.” Some of the policy changes that they advocate for are comprehensive immigration reform and combating abusive border patrol agents through increasing awareness by informing the general Ignatius community about immigrants’ struggles.

Members of the Kino for Teens club criticized President Trump’s decision to terminate DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which granted undocumented immigrants who entered the US as children protection from deportation and a work permit. They said that they knew people personally who were protected by DACA. Ashley del Toro said the President’s decision was unfair because the information they submitted for the purposes of protection could now be used to assist authorities’ efforts to deport them.

In late November, Kinos for Teens passed out images of undocumented immigrants and their stories to Ignatius students. They wanted to humanize the issue of immigrants and combat many of the stereotypical beliefs present throughout society. Some of the stories indicate many of the reasons why migrants are forced to immigrate illegally, such as violence in developing countries and better job opportunities. They also provided an insight into the trivial reasons why many undocumented immigrants were eventually deported, such as traffic violations.

In conclusion, Kino for Teens members explained how Ignatius students and teachers could help undocumented immigrants in detention facilities or at risk for deportation. They emphasized the importance of allowing immigrants to cash their check in foreign countries so that they could pay bills through money sent from abroad. Other avenues of support included spreading the message and calling representatives. Speak with the leaders of Kino for Teens for how to help undocumented immigrants and how to get involved.


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Kino for Teens