The Immigration Crisis: Background and Ideas for Immigration Reform

240X180 Event

Mary Jane Friel will discuss the conditions that motivate men, women, and unaccompanied children to enter the United States as illegal immigrants, only to live with the constant fear of deportation.

Date & Time:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM


Free and Open to the Public


Luann Dummer Center for Women (O'Shaughnessy Educational Center, Room 103)

Mary Jean Friel is currently active in the Loretto Community, whose goal is to work for justice and act for peace. She has helped lead faith-based groups to the Arizona and Texas borders to assist recently deported migrants and to help shine a light on their untold struggles. In this lecture, Friel will detail the conditions that motivate men, women, and unaccompanied children to risk their lives to come to the United States, only to live in the shadows with the constant fear of deportation. She will also discuss the need for compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform. A light lunch will be served at this event.

A lifelong activist, Friel was a Sister of Loretto for 10 years. She worked with farm workers in the labor camps of Colorado, Wyoming, and California, where she joined Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Union as Cesar’s personal assistant; she was also an organizer of the grape boycott in New York City. Later as a co-member of Loretto, Mary Jean joined the National Farm Worker Ministry and continued working with farm workers in California. In addition, she was a proud elementary teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District for twenty years and was active in the teachers’ union as the elected union chair for her school and the South Bay area of Los Angeles.

This event is sponsored by Justice and Peace Studies, the Luann Dummer Center for Women, and the American Culture & Difference program.


All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, call (651) 962-6315.