Simulation challenges participants to walk in shoes of immigrants

Participants in the immigration simulation Saturday visit health services and an immigration specialist.

Members from all reaches of the community got a first-hand glimpse into what it takes to be an immigrant to the country.

La Luz Hispana on Satur-day hosted “Getting in Line: An Immigration Simulation” at the Youth For Christ building in Hampton. The activity pitted participants with vari-ous scenarios regarding their arrival in the United States and how they would go about obtaining citizenship. En-counters experienced by “im-migrants” throughout the simulation included law enforcement, lawyers, court officials and cons.

Alexis Vosburg, a teacher with the Hampton-Dumont School District, said the person she played came to the United States as a 13-year-old and worked for a number of years before eventually being deported. During that time, she said her person unknowingly received fake documents, leading to an arrest by ICE agents.

Vosburg said the experience showed her how difficult the journey is from start to finish. She said it also challenged her to think about other factors that weren’t present in simulation, including the language barrier often experienced by immigrants to the country.

“In the beginning, I didn’t know where to start,” she said. “I couldn’t imagine at that point I would’ve spoken the language and everything I did I used English for, where if I couldn’t that would’ve been even harder.”

Vosburg added that while the event was a simulation, it brought out real frustrations, which added to the ability to further understand the immigration process.

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