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AHS October Blog: Advocating for Immigration Reform and Making a Difference

In a world filled with complex issues and challenges, there are individuals who stand out for their unwavering dedication to creating positive change. Sasha Saggoo, a senior at the Poole College of Management and one of the Oaks Leadership Scholars Senior Scholars for 2023-2024, is one such inspiring individual. Her commitment to immigration reform and her proactive efforts to support recent immigrants to the USA have left a lasting impact on her community. In this blog piece, we’ll delve into Saggoo’s journey, her impactful initiatives, and her valuable insights on how you too can make a difference in the world of immigration reform.

Sasha Saggoo

A Passion Ignited:

Saggoo’s passion for immigration reform and support didn’t emerge overnight. It was a gradual process that evolved over the years. As she reflects on her journey, Saggoo shares, “For the past few years, I have tried to get involved in immigration reform and support in any way that I could.” However, it wasn’t until the 2022-2023 academic year that she was able to dive deeper into this topic and create a plan to directly impact the local community.

The Power of Research:

Saggoo”s journey began with thorough research. She knew that to effect change, she needed a deep understanding of the issues at hand. “I read scholarly articles, kept up with the current immigration situation in the country, and spoke with local organizations,” Saggoo explains. This commitment to knowledge and understanding formed the foundation of her advocacy work. Her personal favorite informational websites include the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights site and the National Immigration Law Center site as well. Along with immigration-specific resources, she also read books about activism and leadership. I felt it was important to make sure that the impact she expected to create would be received correctly.

The Role of Mentorship:

Mentorship can be a game-changer for anyone looking to make a meaningful impact. Saggoo’s mentor, Katherine McKee, played a pivotal role in connecting her with a local organization that provided support for immigrants in South Charlotte. Through this connection, Saggoo organized a year-long hygiene drive, which she describes as “the most impactful event” she had ever been a part of. It was a heartwarming experience for her to witness the direct impact of her work on the local immigrant community.

Advocating for Legislation:

Sasha’s commitment to immigration reform extended beyond local initiatives. She dedicated her time and effort to advocating for bill H.R. 5618, known as The Reimagining Asylum Processing Act of 2021, sponsored by Representative Veronica Escobar. Sasha reached out to co-sponsors of the bill and urged them to pass the legislation in both the House and the Senate. Her advocacy didn’t stop there; she traveled to Washington D.C. to speak with various members of Congress, urging them to co-sponsor the bill and support its passage. Working on this project all year has been an eye-opening and rewarding experience for her, and she is extremely excited to continue her work this year.

Networking and Outreach:

Saggoo emphasizes the importance of networking and outreach in the realm of immigration reform. She recommends using your network and the internet to your advantage. Saggoo advises, “Reach out to many organizations via email, phone calls, etc. Some may not yield results, but those that do can help you find ways to get involved or point you in the right direction.” One of the significant challenges Saggoo faced was the partisan nature of immigration reform in the United States. Navigating through biased information was a hurdle she had to overcome. However, Saggoo’s dedication, coupled with the guidance of her mentor, allowed her to sift through the noise and find resources and organizations that aligned with her goals and interests.

A Personal Connection:

Saggoo’s passion for immigration reform is deeply personal. She proudly identifies as a daughter of immigrants, and her parents are her greatest source of inspiration. Saggoo’s advocacy work began as a tribute to her parents, who viewed the United States as a land of opportunity. She remarks, “I feel hopeful when I hear stories of successful immigration journeys, when I sit in an immigrant-owned restaurant or store, and especially when I hear a collection of accents, languages, and dialects in a local grocery store.” Saggoo’s journey is a testament to the power of hope, dedication, and the profound impact that one individual can make in the world of immigration reform.

On A Final Note:

Saggoo’s story is a beacon of inspiration for those who aspire to make a difference in their communities. Her journey showcases the importance of research, mentorship, advocacy, and personal connection in the pursuit of positive change. Saggoo’s advice on networking, outreach, and navigating the complexities of immigration reform serves as a valuable guide for anyone looking to get involved. Through her unwavering dedication, Saggoo’ reminds us that we all have the potential to be changemakers, and with hope and determination, we can contribute to a brighter future for all.