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Refugees & Immigration


Migration is deeply intertwined with every era of United States’ history. In light of the threat that immigrants face under the new administration and the continued refugee crisis around the world, now is a critical time to examine what we can do to alleviate the effects of new policies and ensure that people feel safe and welcomed in this country. Swarthmore declared itself a sanctuary campus in 2016, but there is still much work to be done. Through collective efforts, we can tackle the different facets of migration that make it challenging, and often impossible, for immigrants and refugees to adapt to their new lives.

Engaged Scholarship Examples

  • "Educational Studies Project Explores Undocumented and DACA Student Experience," by Ryan Dougherty (2018) 
    The research seminar Latinos and Education (EDUC 153), taught by Education Studies Professor Elaine Allard, produced a short film titled Sanctuary in Practice about the experience of undocumented and DACA students and allies in the Swarthmore community. The film, which is based on interviews and original research, was shown at the Search of Sanctuary symposium in May 2018.
  • Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary (2017-2019) 
    The Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary project combines works of art and the experiences of Syrian and Iraqi individuals who have resettled in Philadelphia.
  • Olivia Robbins '21 and Immigration Law Lab Internship 
    Olivia Robbins ‘21 was a virtual communications intern for the nonprofit Innovation Law Lab during the summer of 2020. She was motivated to learn more about immigration activism after taking Civil Wars and Neoliberal Peace (PEAC 038) with Spanish Professor Nanci Buiza and conducting research about conditions in detention facilities on the US-Mexico border for the class. Her work this past summer included sharing important information about COVID-19 and immigration on social media, writing about funds for undocumented workers, and hearing stories about abuses in detention facilities.
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