Latin fraternity takes stand on immigration


Hannah Olson/Iowa State Daily

Students sign posters stating “I stand with immigrants” outside of Parks Library on Oct. 4.

Whitney Mason

When President Donald Trump first announced he was rescinding the DACA program last month, Edward Herrera, senior in mechanical engineering, didn’t think too much about the ordeal.

Herrera said rescinding DACA didn’t affect him directly.

“About a day or two later, I started to actually think about it and process everything that was happening,” Herrera said.

Herrera began to understand that he knew people who were being affected and it began to feel personal to him.

From then, Herrera and other members of his fraternity, Lambda Theta Phi, knew they needed to take action and bring awareness to the ISU community.

“We’re trying to help them out as much as we can and wish them the best,” Herrera said.

Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity had a table placed at the Agora outside of Parks Library, passing out candy, stickers, t-shirts and encouraging those passing by to sign the “I Stand With Immigrants” sign on the table.

Overall members of the fraternity said they had a great turnout and around eighty signatures on their sign.

“This is kind of the basis of what our fraternity was founded upon, improving and empowering our Latinx community,” said Raul Anguiano, senior in civil engineering.

Daniel Garcia, senior in criminal justice, said there was a need to have an event like this on campus, because there are people on campus impacted by the rescinding of DACA.

“The more that we acknowledge people, possibly something can turn out of it,” Garcia said.

Anguiano called this event the “bread and butter” of what his fraternity chooses to promote and advocate for.

Anguiano said by his fraternity having events like this, it helps create dialogue within the community.

“This is the first step, so just acknowledging that there is a problem and follow it up with a plan of action and implement change,” Anguiano said.

During its time in the Agora, the fraternity was met with some negative response from passersby, which many felt stemmed from the national and campus climates.

Garcia said it was hard to convince people who had never gone through the negative experience that someone affected by DACA could endure.

“The more we can do is put on more events that people can learn from and can actually know what the main purpose is,” Garcia said.

Anguiano said by being at a public white institute (PWI), hosting events like theirs usually is met with people with a stubborn mindset, not wanting to see different perspectives.

“We often hear negative criticism, some slurs, some snickering that is often mumbled but not said directly to us,” Anguiano said.

Anguiano said he and the other members are okay with and acknowledge the negative responses because they know they are out making a difference in their community.

When it comes to improving and empowering society, Anguiano said before there are changes to the nation, changes must also start within ourselves.

“Once they realize that there is a problem and they move toward a solution, that’s when we can start coming together as a community, as a city, as a state and then as a nation as a whole,” Anguiano said.

The fraternity will be hosting another event on Oct. 18 entitled, “Power of the Pen” where there will be videos and letters written by DACA and other immigrant students impacted by the latest events surrounding immigration. There will also be an opportunity for those in attendance to write letters to Congress.