Name: Noelia Calcaño
Year of Participation: Summer 2020
What was the most valuable thing you learned or accomplished in the program?
As an intern for the ACLU of Maine, one of the projects I focused on was a proposed ICE detention facility in Scarborough. I worked alongside the legal team to research legislation from other states that Maine could use as a model to prohibit the construction of an ICE detention facility and private detention centers. Working on this project was valuable because it served as a real world application of my border security and immigration coursework, and the work experience encouraged me to pursue the idea of a career in law.
What have you done since being involved in the ACLU program?
Since my internship with the ACLU of Maine, I am finishing up my senior year at Bowdoin College by working on an honors thesis inspired by my passion for immigration and international relations. I am studying how Temporary Protected Status has expanded the de facto definition of refugees for migrants impacted by non-state violence and climate catastrophes. Additionally, I volunteer my time as a Spanish translator and interpreter at the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project.
What are your plans for the future?
In the immediate future, I am interested in pursuing my passion for immigrant communities and language through an international fellowship after I graduate. Later, I plan to gain more perspective on the policy dynamics of immigration reform by working on the issues of immigration and refugee policy, and then pursue a law degree.