DALLAS TOWNSHIP -- Immigration is one of the biggest issues in this year's presidential race and a university in Luzerne County wanted its students to look at immigration through the eyes of immigrants.
Immigrants becoming U.S. citizens often attend naturalization ceremonies at federal courthouses, like the one in Wilkes-Barre.
On Tuesday, students at Misericordia University learned that getting there can be a long and difficult process.
"What we hope that the students get out of it is an understanding of what migrant people go through when they're trying to enter our country," said Sr. Jean Messaros, Misericordia University campus ministry vice president.
The students may be Americans, many never having even left the country, but on this day, they're all foreigners. During a workshop at Misericordia University, about 100 students pretended to be immigrants trying to get into the United States.
First, each student had to fill a cup with beans they picked up off the floor. The task symbolized the work and fees required to just get to the U.S.
"They only have so much money and they must take that money and get their family to wherever they must go, and they may not all get there," explained Sr. Jean Messaros.
Sean Ferry works in campus ministry and says the current political climate may confuse people about the realities that immigrants may face. He hopes activities like this help students gain a broader sense of the world.
"It also helps them to be more compassionate, and that's what compassion is all about."
Many students say they lessons they learned in this class can be applied in the real world.
"I think by Trump saying he's going to build a wall and stuff, it's not going to change anything .If they're going to come here, they're going to come here," said freshman Kenneth Gredy.
Misericordia University is also celebrating Mercy Week this week and hopes exercises such as the immigration class teach students to be more compassionate.