WSU intern witnesses high court immigrant deliberations - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WSU intern witnesses high court immigrant deliberations

Posted: Updated:

PULLMAN, WA - Washington State University junior Adilenne Villanueva felt anticipation and anxiety while watching the U.S. Supreme Court justices deliberate on a landmark case recently.

Riding on the court’s decision was whether or not more than 5 million undocumented immigrants in the United States would be protected from deportation and allowed to work legally in the country. This was part of executive actions put forth by President Obama called DAPA, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, and Extended DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

For Villanueva, whose parents are undocumented migrant farmworkers in White Swan, Wash., the issues discussed in the nation’s highest court were highly personal. On June 23, both executive actions failed to be adopted on a 4-4 tie. It was an emotional day for her family and others like them across the nation.

“It was heartbreaking, and to this day I’m still sad and mad,” said Villanueva of the court’s decision. “My parents work long days in the scorching sun and freezing weather to put food on our table. Why not grant them a permit that allows them to stay and not be afraid of deportation?”

While the decision didn’t go her way, Villanueva was nonetheless thrilled to be close to the action as part of a coveted summer internship with the U.S. Offices of Migrant Education and National Migrant & Seasonal Head Start. She was assigned to work with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to protecting the rights of Latinos in the United States.

Ray Acuña-Luna, academic coordinator and retention specialist in WSU’s College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), said Villanueva is a remarkable person uniquely concerned with improving educational access for underrepresented students.

“She is the epitome of someone who will advocate for resources, create partnerships and affect public policy to benefit eligible farmworker families,” he said.

With just one week remaining of her internship in Washington, D.C., Villanueva said she will return to WSU in the fall with greater passion and a clearer focus on promoting higher education to disadvantaged youth.

“I’m going to school so I can obtain a position that will allow me to advocate for and be the voice for all people whose voices aren’t being heard,” she said.

Villanueva, who is majoring in human development, is the fifth consecutive WSU CAMP student selected for the internship. Students from across the nation compete for just three positions annually.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Tri-CitiesTri-Cities NewsMore>>

  • Walk to end Alzheimer's at Columbia Park

    Walk to end Alzheimer's at Columbia Park

    Sunday, October 14 2018 11:28 PM EDT2018-10-15 03:28:22 GMT

    5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease and that number is expected to nearly triple by 2050. 

    More >>

    5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease and that number is expected to nearly triple by 2050. 

    More >>
  • Man found with two gunshot wounds, no arrests made

    Man found with two gunshot wounds, no arrests made

    Sunday, October 14 2018 6:54 PM EDT2018-10-14 22:54:33 GMT
    Bank Robbery in RichlandBank Robbery in Richland
    BENTON COUNTY, WA- The Benton County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a man was shot twice Saturday night. At 9:11 p.m. deputies responded to a call of a male and female in a physical disturbance at a residence in the 21000 block of Glenn Miller PR SE.  Information provided by the reporting party was a male had been shot twice at the location.     Deputies arrived and immediately secured the residence.  All occupants were cooperative with deputies and...More >>
    BENTON COUNTY, WA- The Benton County Sheriff's Office is investigating after a man was shot twice Saturday night. At 9:11 p.m. deputies responded to a call of a male and female in a physical disturbance at a residence in the 21000 block of Glenn Miller PR SE.  Information provided by the reporting party was a male had been shot twice at the location.     Deputies arrived and immediately secured the residence.  All occupants were cooperative with deputies and...More >>
  • Officials looking to propose new framework for managing wolves that prey on livestock

    Officials looking to propose new framework for managing wolves that prey on livestock

    Saturday, October 13 2018 10:34 PM EDT2018-10-14 02:34:11 GMT
    Officials remove wolf from state endangered species listOfficials remove wolf from state endangered species list
    PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - Oregon officials are proposing a new framework for managing wolves that prey on livestock.    The East Oregonian reports that a possible deal emerged Tuesday that involves ranchers making clearly defined efforts to protect livestock and ward off wolves with non-lethal deterrents.    If ranchers follow those rules and still lose livestock to wolves, and the wolves meet the state's definition of "chronic depredation," ranchers can ask...More >>
    PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - Oregon officials are proposing a new framework for managing wolves that prey on livestock.    The East Oregonian reports that a possible deal emerged Tuesday that involves ranchers making clearly defined efforts to protect livestock and ward off wolves with non-lethal deterrents.    If ranchers follow those rules and still lose livestock to wolves, and the wolves meet the state's definition of "chronic depredation," ranchers can ask...More >>