Hispanic Heritage Month speaker addresses immigration issues


Photo by: Caleb Reeves

Guest speaker Jesús Nebot shares his knowledge and firsthand experiences with immigration.

Jasmin Mitchell , Staff Writer

The Multicultural Advisory Board (MAB) held its annual program to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month begins each year on Sept. 15, lasts for 30 days and serves to commemorate Latin American independence.

Throughout this celebration,  many people and organizations celebrate the history, culture and contributions of American citizens of Spanish, Mexican, Caribbean, Central American and South American descent.

FMU participated in Hispanic Heritage Month by sponsoring a program focused on different issues that Hispanic people face across the country, such as immigration and the elimination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The guest lecturer was award-winning filmmaker and inspirational speaker Jesús Nebot.

According to Nebot, the event was a success. This was his first appearance at FMU, and he said he was glad that he was chosen to speak at the event. Nebot also said the event is important because it allows people to discuss issues facing the community rather than just lightheartedly enjoying food or music.

“I thought it was a great idea,” Nebot said. “Instead of just eating good Mexican food and playing some nice Latin music, I have the chance to talk about issues that are relevant and can educate others on why immigration is such a controversial topic.”

In his presentation, Nebot discussed the current protocol for handling immigration. According to Nebot, there has not been a solution concerning immigration that will solve the issues these people currently face.

Nebot said that he thought many politicians don’t offer long-term practices for handling immigration because they often choose to focus on their terms in office and the ways that they can be re-elected.

“I want everyone here to have a wider perspective of this issue and how, unfortunately, people are being misled about immigration and what could be a possible solution for it,” Nebot said.

Nebot interacted with the audience by asking questions about the stereotypes the audience members have heard about immigration such as stealing Americans’ jobs, straining social services, committing crimes and not paying taxes.

Nebot discussed how immigrants are perceived and labeled in America.

From a legal perspective, people who are considered unauthorized citizens are called illegal aliens. According to Nebot, the label “illegal” often invoked the idea of “criminal,” while the word “alien” often has negative connotations of being a “foreigner” or an “invader.”

Nebot said that these perceptions are not true despite their prevalence. While crossing the border is considered a crime, it is only a violation of a civic code, meaning that harm is not being caused to someone else. Nebot compared this crime to driving over the speed limit or drinking underage.

Nebot has delivered lectures in over 30 states and 11 countries worldwide. He is the former producer and host of Time Warner’s “The Love Show” and is the writer, director, producer and star of the feature film “No Turning Back.”

Sophomore Cecilia Rivera said the event was very beneficial for people who may be  unaware of certain issues that Hispanics have to face daily.

“I believe more students should know about it, and they should do more things like this on campus,” Rivera said.