January 11 Immigration Panel Features Three Alumni

A school meeting January 11 spotlighted a panel discussion on immigration in the United States with three Mercersburg Academy alumni as panelists and history faculty member David Bell as the moderator. The panel included attorneys Aaron Chiu ’99 of Washington, D.C., and Joshua Bratter ’91, P ’21, of Miami, Fla., as well as Ann Fegley Rodriguez ’97, a legal assistant from Wake Forest, N.C.
The event, which was held in the Plantz Courts of Nolde Gymnasium, is part of a speaker series surrounding the topic of immigration being held on campus throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Rodriguez has helped immigrants with family-based petitions, removal defense, and unaccompanied minors and humanitarian relief. In 2018 she volunteered with CARA, a volunteer organization whose mission is to end family detention in Dilley, Texas, and volunteered in Tijuana, Mexico, with Al Otro Lado, a grassroots organization of attorneys, advocates, and medical, social, and psychological professionals working with the participants of the immigrant caravan that have arrived seeking asylum.

Bratter has a national immigration practice and serves as the official immigration counsel to Parallel 18 Technology Accelerator, SwimSwam, The American Swimming Coaches Association, 5th Street Boxing Gym, and numerous early-stage IT ventures. In 2013, he was named to the 40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers in Dade County, and during the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign, he served on then-candidate Joseph Lieberman’s Immigration Task Force. He is the proud father of Maximo ’21 and is a member of the Marshall Society.

Chiu is an attorney with past experience in the field of immigration law. His practice focused on representing immigrants living in the Mid-Atlantic. He has handled cases including asylum claims, immigrant detainees, special-immigrant juveniles, unaccompanied children, consular processing, and family-based applications. Chiu is currently an attorney-advisor with the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Earlier this academic year, the series began with school meetings led by Alex Nowrasteh (a senior immigration-policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity) and Rod Hissong (co-owner of Mercer Vu Farms in Mercersburg, which employs more than 170 agricultural workers locally), followed by student discussion sessions on the topic.

All three of the school’s 2018 summer-reading books for students and faculty explored themes related to immigration—and all three authors are visiting campus this year to speak with students. Gregory Boyle, author of the New York Times best-seller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, was on campus in December to deliver the Schaff Lecture on Ethics and Morals. Erika L. Sánchez, author of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, will be on campus April 19, and Lauren Markham, author of The Far Away Brothers, will visit April 26.
Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
100 Academy Drive, Mercersburg, PA 17236
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