Grad students present drama concerning immigration

Madeline Chera

On Tuesday, March 21, members of the University community and its surroundings discussed a line of demarcation that is both very arbitrary and very real.

As part of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Drama Project, three graduates of the Villanova Master’s of Theatre program performed a short piece entitled “The Line in the Sand: Stories from the US/Mexico Border” in the Connelly Cinema.

The drama consisted of a series of six scenes representing conversations that the team of actors and CRS Campus Ministry Director Kevin Kostic had with those in the middle of the immigration issue during their one week trip to the Arizona/Mexico border in 2005.

With such a small cast, the actors were still able to capture a wide range of characters, including an alien mother making the fatal trip through the desert, a border patrol officer overwhelmed by the task set before his team, a Caucasian suburbanite whose eyes were opened to the reality of immigration and decided to get involved, a rancher facing the challenges of maintaining her land, an American medical examiner numbed by his job, a young representative of the Mexican consulate and immigrants detained and desperate at the border.

Though the performers admitted that the show might not have represented the full scope of the issue, they hoped that the format of the piece would encourage the understanding that, as with any political/ethical issue, there are few absolutes and many nuances of opinion.

In the spirit of solidarity and with its emphasis on the culture of life, the Catholic Church is in support of reforms of the United States’ immigration system, recognizing the mortal risk of crossing the 1100 square miles of desert between Tucson and the Mexican border, the hardship of being separated from loved ones and the right of every person to support themselves and their families.

For this reason, the U.S. College of Catholic Bishops supports the legislation of reforms, and CRS has specifically shown support for the structure of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 recently introduced by Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).

However, though the bill is a positive step toward the goal of reform, CRS feels that it falls short in providing enough protection and opportunity for workers.

This issue is of special relevance this coming week, when the Senate will start to consider comprehensive reform, offering amendments to the bill for the next week or two. Catholic Relief Services, especially in conjunction with its Campus Connection program, is urging students to become active on this issue by contacting their legislators and addressing the proposal.

For more information on the issue of migration and how to contact your legislator, visit and

For information about the CRS drama project and future performances of “The Line in the Sand” visit