Meet Scout Crowell ’20 who interviewed with us about her time spent this summer interning with the Immigrant Worker Project.
What is the immigrant worker project?
The Immigrant Worker Project is a nonprofit organization that does advocacy work for immigrants in Ohio and in other areas of the Midwest— but primarily Ohio. Basically we do what the immigrant community needs at the time. Right now is a lot of legal work, at other times it’s been more grassroots advocacy type work like organizing activities or holding educational meetings.
What demographic do you mainly work with?
Mostly Central American immigrants. The large majority are Latinx immigrants. We have a few immigrants from areas in Africa, but a large portion of the people we work with are Central American, especially Guatemalan.
What was your role this summer with the Immigrant Worker Project?
I was a base level intern, so I did a lot of asylum applications, did intakes, which is where someone comes in, and they tell you their immigration story and you have to write all of it down, type it out, translate, to help prepare them for their asylum case. And then it’s passed down to lawyers and they make the case from there. But you basically get information such as demographics, why they left Guatemala or Honduras or wherever, how they got here— their immigration journey— why they can’t go back. To get asylum in the U.S. you need to have a reasonable fear of persecution based on specific categories.
We also take people to the doctor and translate for them. We drive a lot of people to their immigration court hearings in Cleveland, which is an hour away from where we worked in Canton, Ohio. We took people to individual case hearings where you find out whether or not the individual gets a deportation order or whether they win their asylum case and get to stay in the US. We also do a lot of ICE check-ins where people have to get ankle monitors once they turn 18.
Tell me about your grant.
Eric Thorton ‘18 and I won a $10,000 Projects for Peace Grant, and with the money, we designed an educational advocacy project for the Central American youth in the area. The program basically focused on giving them the tools to do what they thought would be valuable in their communities as well as college preparation, college tours, and all that kind of stuff.
What was the most memorable moment from your summer?
The one thing that is a flashbulb memory is responding to the ICE raid during June. We went to the church where everybody went after the ICE, the helicopters, and police officers left the raided business. I walked into the church and there was probably 80 to 100 people there, helpless, kids with no parents. That was probably my most intense memory.
What are your hopes for the future of the Immigrant Worker Project?
I hope the Immigrant Worker Project is able to sustain itself as a nonprofit. It’s obviously really difficult to keep going. I just hope people care enough to fund the project and I hope that we can continue to make the impact we’ve made so far because it’s pretty incredible.
Thank you, Scout, for speaking with us here at the Thrill! Find out more about the Immigrant Worker Project here.