Listen: What Our Religious Traditions Teach Us About Dealing with Undocumented Immigrants
This fall, the Interfaith Center kicked off its Religion and Society series with “Amnesty or Expulsion: What Our Religious Traditions Teach Us About Dealing with Undocumented Immigrants.” Aurora Camacho de Schmidt, professor emerita of Spanish and longtime immigrant rights advocate, and Muslim student advisor Umar Abdul Rahman led the discussion.
Camacho de Schmidt has been involved in the immigrant rights advocacy community since 1980. She directed the Mexico-U.S. Border Program of the American Friends Service Committee between 1979 and 1986 and worked as a policy analyst until 1992. At Swarthmore, her research and teaching focused on the way the freedom and rigor of the literary imagination embody the struggles of marginal people in the Americas. She has also served as a volunteer translator in contract negotiations for the Kaolin Mushroom Workers Union in Chester County, Pa.
Prior to beginning work in religious life and pastoral care, Rahman practiced immigration and human rights law, specifically deportation defense, for a number of years in the Philadelphia area. He has studied various aspects of the Islamic faith in both traditional and academic settings in the U.S., as well as abroad. Rahman has also been an active member of the local Muslim community and is one of the founders of the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights organization.