NVCC alumna and current UCONN student Angelica Idrovo along with Doug Penn, a Stamford-based attorney who specializes in immigration law, were the panelists at a forum on immigration hosted by NVCC on April 26. The panel was sponsored by the College’s Center for Racial Dialogue and Communal Transformation and was the second in a series of talks intended to promote conversations on race and communal transformation.
In her welcoming remarks, NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., reflected on her childhood which was spent living under a dictatorship in the Dominican Republic and on the eventual process of immigrating to America at the age of 13. “I’m so grateful for the conversation, for the information that will be shared,” said President De Filippis, “and am indebted to Professor Joseph Faryniarz, Professor Kathy Taylor, and Dean Antonio Santiago, and many other colleagues for their leadership in bringing about this event.”
Attorney Penn opened the panel with a brief overview of the architecture and history of immigration law in the United States. “The reality is, Americans don’t get our own system,” said Penn.
Angelica Idrovo, a 2016 graduate of NVCC who is currently pursuing her bachelors at UCONN shared anecdotes about her immigration experience. She also discussed her work as a community organizer and activist with CT Students for a Dream (C4D) and United We Dream. Founded in 2010 by a group of undocumented students and allies from across the state, C4D works in creating social change and addressing the root causes of injustice and inequity in the lives of its members and communities. In May of 2011, C4D was able to see the passage of the In-State Tuition Bill for undocumented students through the advocacy, lobbying, and testimonies of its members. Idrovo, who has been working with C4D since she was 17 announced some good news at today’s panel, “yesterday, after five years of fighting for financial aid,” Idrovo said, “we have passed both the Senate and House of Representatives,” she said, referring to legislation passed yesterday making undocumented immigrants eligible to apply for help from the $150 million pool of financial aid awarded annually to students at the state’s public colleges and universities. “And this is huge not just for me, but for all of the undocumented students that are really looking forward to going to school,” she said.
NVCC’s panel was held on National Immigrant Resilience Day (NIRD), a day when institutions celebrate undocumented students and proudly proclaim their commitment to education, in lieu of deportation.