Alert to the vital presence of immigrants in their home county against the backdrop of a national tug of war on the subject, the Union County Young Democrats (UCYD) Legislative Caucus partnered with Make the Road Action to host a forum at Snyder Academy in Elizabeth.

“In an age of growing distrust in government and fear of how certain groups will be treated by this administration, it’s important that we stay informed of the issues, organize and most importantly vote,” said Maria Del Cid-Kosso, President of the Union County Young Democrats organization.

The event featured several guest speakers including Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-20) – pictured below – and Union County Freeholder Mohamed Jalloh. While both elected officials advocate on various immigration issues, it was under the Chairmanship of Freeholder Jalloh that the County ended the practice of detaining undocumented immigrants at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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“On a national level the Trump administration has made it very clear that the immigration issue is not one of jobs, security, or process, but rather discrimination of certain people from certain places based on racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds,” Jalloh said in an interview. “We should be suspicious of, and resistant to, any and all immigration policy built on a platform of discrimination.

At a forum that included the presence of Marie Marthelle Guervil, chair of the Legislative Caucus, other featured speakers and panelists included:

• Erika Nava- New Jersey Policy Perspective- Policy Analyst

• Cristian Moreno-Rodriguez- Community Activist

• Sara Mora- Make the Road Action NJ/DACA Advocate

• Sara Cullinane Esq.- Director of Make the Road Action NJ

The mission of the UCYD Legislative Caucus is to work to bring awareness to policy issues affecting Union County residents, especially the younger population. And through the leadership of the UCYD Host Committees, the chapter is producing more awareness events than ever before.

In addition to the forum on immigration, they held a Black History Month event late last month under the auspices of the UCYD Black Caucus, Chaired by Naima Ricks. The Caucus celebrated Black History Month with a meet and greet gathering that brought together many Union County Black Elected Officials and young professionals aspiring to run for office.

“Events like these are what we need to keep young people informed and engaged,” said Marshall Spevak, President of the New Jersey Young Democrats Organization. “I give credit to Maria for invigorating an organization that has the potential to activate so many young people that can change the landscape of Union County in a progressive way.”

For more information on the Union County Young Democrats contact unioncountyyoungdems@gmail.com and follow them on Social Media @unioncountyyoungdemocrats