Washington Semester Program American Politics students together in Washington DC

Lisa Surraco

American Politics

February 8, 2018 | Hello everyone, my name is Lisa Surraco and I am a senior at Franklin and Marshall College. I decided to participate in the Washington Semester Program because as a government major I thought D.C. would be the best place to study and would have amazing opportunities. I am taking the American Politics seminar and I am interning at CAIR coalition, which is an organization that works with detained immigrants. I will be working hard this semester while doing extremely rewarding work.

I am fortunate to be in a class in which we often travel downtown and meet with a variety of speakers. We have already gone to the CATO institute, AEI and the NRCC. At each event we learn from top experts how their organization works or the new research that they are working on. I am most pleased that we have and will continue to visit a diverse group of organizations. I feel this is the best way to learn and understand all parts of politics.

Washington Semester Program students at the National Republican Congressional Committee in Washington DC I have been working at my internship for a week and am learning a lot about how everything works. I am excited to prepare for and participate on jail visits, work with detained immigrants, and understand the legal aspects of asylum and deportation. It's a unique opportunity as I learn an aspect of immigration law that is not commonly addressed: the rights of immigrants once behind bars. Whether they are here legally or not, once an immigrant gets detained their rights quickly diminish. These offenses aren't always the most serious and can range from fishing without a proper license to assault. I am eager to learn about how these cases are handled and what their outcomes are.

D.C. is a beautiful city to explore. I have had two weekends here and have been able to see D.C. in full swing. I participated with my fellow classmates in the Women's March on January 21, 2018. The protest was very empowering and I'm proud to say I was a part of it. I have also visited a variety of museums-all free! I especially enjoyed the botanical gardens, can't wait to go back to them when it's warmer.