Students and alumni in Washington met to discuss immigration and President Trump’s first weeks in office.
Henry Platt Bristol Professor of International Affairs Alan Cafruny introduced the topic of discussion by emphasizing three points: the impact of the refugee ban on immigrants and refugees, the administration’s reasons for the executive orders, and the moral imperative that the U.S. has with regard to taking in refugees.
Matt Zeller ’04 explained his own personal stake in the issue.
The Hamilton Program in Washington runs in the fall and spring semesters. Sixteen students live and work in Washington in a variety of internships including all three branches of government, think tanks, NGOs, non-profits, and lobbying and consulting firms.
After serving in Afghanistan, Zeller worked to help his own Afghani translator come to the U.S. However, he was disappointed by the long and difficult process that people like his translator had to experience before being allowed to immigrate to the U.S.
As a result, Zeller founded No One Left Behind, a nonprofit that helps Afghan and Iraqi combat interpreters immigrate to the U.S.
In the discussion, Zeller and other Hamilton alumni stressed the necessity of getting involved in the political process by staying informed, showing up to demonstrations, and running for political office.
Matt Hermann ’17 has organized a GoFundMe page for Hamilton College community members to directly support No One Left Behind.