Coming into this internship, I knew things would be hectic at the office–the nonprofit that I work for centers on immigration advocacy, after all, and it has been nothing but a whirlwind these past few years when it comes to immigration. When I had applied, Trump had ended DACA, another iteration of the Muslim travel ban had been going through the courts, and the administration had rescinded TPS for immigrants and refugees from Haiti, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
After a month here, yesterday was my first glimpse of just how rushed things become when so many things are happening in the immigration realm. Cruel family separation at the border, the never-ending fight over DACA and DREAMers in Congress, the upcoming Supreme Court hearing and decision on the Muslim travel ban. It not only felt like every second and every word mattered in the office, especially with everything happening right now, but it looked that way, too–with constant phone calls, huddles, emails, and notes being taken throughout the day.
For the most part, my expectations for this internship have stayed the same: I’m still doing the same kind of work that I have been at the beginning and that I anticipated before coming to D.C., such as compiling news articles, researching journalists, and drafting social media posts. This was all in the description for the communications intern application, and so far, I’m on the same road that I started on.
But one thing I never expected to actually do was the outreach to journalists. Yesterday, the communications team was preparing for a press conference with evangelical leaders and DREAMers for the following day, among other things on our plate. I helped contact the journalists who were sent a media advisory and reminded them of the event, and took any questions that they had. I used one of the office’s work phones, feeling truly professional for a few moments in an empty office space (the woman who was usually there was working remotely, so they allowed me to use her office and her phone), with my own desk and the view from above.
It has been almost a month since I’ve been interning at National Immigration Forum, and who knows how else my expectations might be challenged, with the rest of the summer still ahead of me.