Students show solidarity in Missouri capitolMarch 7, 2012

It’s one thing for college students to say they are for or against a cause. It’s another for them to do something about it.

On Tuesday, four Rockhurst University students joined hundreds of other immigration advocates in the halls of the Missouri capitol building in Jefferson City. They were there to voice their opposition to HB 1186, which requires all driver’s license exams to be issued only in English, and SB 590, which mandates that the legal status of all children in public schools and the legal status of anyone detained by police be obtained. Similar bills have been passed in Arizona and Alabama.  

“We are standing in solidarity with the immigrant community who would be affected by this bill and we are here to express to our legislatures that we oppose these bills,” said Rebecca Hinman, Overland Park, Kan., junior. “We are coming from Catholic stance and from a Catholic university. We are expressing how the gospel mandates that we need to show respect and kindness to all of our brothers and sisters.”

The four students are a part of the VOICES for Justice organization on campus, which focuses its efforts on different means of social justice and environmentally sustainable efforts. The group’s main focus this month was immigration.

The students traveled to Jefferson City with members of the Archdiocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and a representative from the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth.

Although the group didn't get a chance to meet with state representatives, they felt their message was still heard.

“It helps them to know that you care and that we want them to listen to us,” Hinman said. “It takes people talking to and taking time to meet with legislators so they know how their constituents feel.”

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