Immigration specialist shares life experiences

Krystal Rodriguez-Campos, director of the Justice and Immigration Clinic, speaks at the monthly “What Matters to Me and Why” series March 14 in the Ludwick Center Sacred Space. Rodriguez-Campos expressed her deep gratitude for her daughters and talked about her admiration for nature and the outdoors, which she finds beautiful. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez
Krystal Rodriguez-Campos, director of the Justice and Immigration Clinic, speaks at the monthly “What Matters to Me and Why” series March 14 in the Ludwick Center Sacred Space. Rodriguez-Campos expressed her deep gratitude for her daughters and talked about her admiration for nature and the outdoors, which she finds beautiful. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez

April Cambero
Social Media Editor

On Thursday in the Ludwick Center Sacred Space, Krystal Rodriguez-Campos, director of the Justice and Immigration Clinic, gave an emotional lecture on her experience as an immigration attorney, her family life and her opportunity to return to the University of La Verne to teach law in her “What Matters to Me and Why” presentation. 

In a room of about 25 people, Rodriguez-Campos’ presentation went in depth on her personal life and how it led her to her passion of helping others with their immigration status. She drew a lot on her past and ancestry, discussing her ethnic roots and how listening to her parents’ stories and clients’ stories of coming to the United States has affected her.

Guests were completely moved by the stories Rodriguez-Campos told of clients she helped and how those experiences have shaped her teaching at ULV. 

“As difficult and challenging as it’s been to work on these types of cases, it’s been so rewarding to be able to have an impact on my client’s lives,” Rodriguez-Campos said. 

Gathered under a halo, the light and airy space was the perfect setting to hold a lecture discussing sensitive topics like immigration, family trauma and personal battles. The Ludwick Sacred Space was filled with emotion and empathy as Rodriguez-Campos confronted her personal struggles and regrets in front of an audience.

Courtney Okumura, sophomore accounting major, and Ashley Anaya, junior kinesiology major, had visited the lecture series and said it was a good way to get to know more faculty and their stories on campus. At ULV, it is possible to lose touch with the rest of the University, so having opportunities like these for the community to integrate again is appreciated.

“It speaks to the people that we have here at La Verne, as different majors, I wouldn’t have ever met her through school, but these events let you get to know people here and realize that we have great people and they have great experiences to share,” Okumura said.

Rodriguez-Campos discussed her more personal life and what truly motivates her to keep going. Her daughter is a huge part of her life as well as her parents who emigrated to the United States. She was mostly impacted by her mother’s immigration story which led to her passion for immigration law.

“That story and just the rest of her life, all the struggles that she’s had to overcome…all the stereotyping and the negative narratives that we have in this country unfortunately as immigrants really made me realize that there was a need for representation,” Rodriguez-Campos said.

A tradition that lecturers partake at every “What Matters to Me and Why” event is an impromptu rapid question round that allows the lecturer and staff to come down from the seriousness of the presentation and enjoy something lighthearted.

Questions from cake or pie to favorite childhood TV show were asked to get to know more of the simple details about Rodriguez-Campos.

“I would say the rapid questions, it was different then just the normal questions we usually hear and the open discussion and the types of questions people come up with,” Anaya said.

Students saw the value in the “What Matters to Me and Why” lecture series because they are able to meet and greet new people, learn more about the faculty on campus and different integral parts that students are not always familiar with and learn more about different majors on campus that they could become interested in one day. These aspects attracted students to continue attending the lectures series.

“Take time to attend events around campus because you never know what you can take away and learn from different things, but you never will know until you put yourself out there,” Okumura said.

April Cambero can be reached at april.cambero@laverne.edu.

Abelina J. Nuñez, senior journalism major, is a photography editor for Campus Times and staff photographer for La Verne Magazine. She previously served as LV Life editor, arts editor social media editor and staff writer. In Fall 2023, Nuñez was La Verne Magazine's editor-in-chief and was previously a staff writer as well. Her work can be found on Instagram @abelinajnunezphoto.

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