Illegal immigration
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2018.034.008 Oral History Interview with Mary Studzinski May 18, 2017

This oral history focuses on Mary Studzinski, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC) in York County, Pennsylvania. Mary discusses the history and role of PIRC in serving immigrants in detention, which began in response to the Golden Venture. The organization’s operations include educating immigrants about their legal options and guiding them through the asylum application process. She also discusses how circumstances have changed for immigrants under the Trump administration, and the repercussions of the 2017 executive orders on community safety, economies, children, and families across the country.

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2018.034.009 Oral History Interview with Claire Thomas and Ernie Collette July 21, 2017

This interview, led by a law professor and staff attorney, goes over immigration policies and detention facilities of the United States and how those policies have become shaped by the Golden Venture cargo ship. Golden Venture smuggled undocumented immigrants from China into the United States (Rockaway, Queens) in 1993. Claire and Ernie discuss the 1986 and 1996 immigration acts and how they changed within a decade. These policies, which were once welcoming to undocumented immigrants and immigrants looking for asylum, turned hostile post 9/11. The Homeland Security Act, which was introduced in 2002, largely impacted immigrants and ethnic communities that resided in the United States. Claire and Ernie describe the living conditions and locations of detention facilities throughout the United States. They also discuss the unjust process of deportation of undocumented immigrants during their check-ins with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These strict policies end up breaking up families and leaving unaccompanied children, even infants, in juvenile detention centers.