6th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference
Wednesday, 6/24/2009 9:00 AM (EST)
Please click the name of each segment to view the corresponding webcast
Welcome by Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Georgetown University Law Center (linked above)
Plenary Session I: Bringing Immigration Policymaking into the 21st Century (linked above)
Immigration over the last quarter of a century has forever changed the demographics landscape of the United States. Nearly 40 million foreign born already live in the United States, long waiting lists for family and employment-based visas have been with us for some time, and in this decade, for the first time, immigration courts handled over 300,000 matters annually. At the start of the Obama administration, this panel will consider how well positioned the government is to make immigration policy in a coherent and thoughtful manner and to administer the immigration system of justice—removal adjudications—in a fair, efficient, and effective way.
Session Moderator: Andrew Schoenholtz, Deputy Director, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University
Donald Kerwin, Vice President for Programs, Migration Policy Institute
Tara Magner, consultant to the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont
Esther A. Olavarria, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Department of Homeland Security
Plenary Session II: Prospects for Immigration Reform: What to expect from Washington?
Both John McCain and Barack Obama held similar views about the need for and elements of immigration reform, so immigration as an election campaign issue fell from the stage. With the deepening economic crisis gripping the administration and Congress, immigration reform has fallen further from the ranks of top-tier issues likely to command congressional attention in the coming months. Yet the problems and dysfunctional impacts of the current system continue to dominate the workings and circumstances of countless communities and workplaces around the nation. In addition, immigration issues are ever-present in legislative debates, whether the issue is re-authorization of E-Verify as part of budget bills or the possibility of stimulus funding being spent to generate jobs that might be filled by unauthorized workers. This panel will examine the prospects for reform from the standpoint of the executive branch, Congress, and constituencies likely to be most affected by new measures.
Session Moderator: Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director of the US Immigration Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute
Serena Hoy, Senior Counsel, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada
Rick Johnson, Vice President, Lake Research Partners
John Morton, Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), US Department of Homeland Security
Discussion on the Economic Recession and its Impact on Immigration
Demetrios G. Papademetriou, President, Migration Policy Institute
Plenary Session III: Communities Laying the Groundwork for Immigration Reform and Beyond
Effective immigration policies serve to encourage and support the integration of newcomers and facilitate the attainment of citizenship. Nowhere is this better understood than at the community level, where immigrants interact daily with the broader community. Many organizations and individuals are involved in helping newcomers acclimate and move toward full participation within their adopted communities. Current immigration policies, however, often stymie these efforts. There are significant backlogs for immigrants wanting to adjust their immigration status, including for naturalization. Increasingly, state and local elected officials are adopting harsh measures affecting the immigrant communities, driving many, especially the unauthorized, further underground. And, because current immigration policies have not addressed the large population of unauthorized immigrants in the United States, large segments of the immigrant community have no recourse to status adjustment, which is a critical component to integration. This panel will explore how community organizations can and are helping to prepare immigrants to become citizens and full participants in the community. The audience will learn about practical approaches, as well as recommended policy changes, from the perspectives of those engaged with immigrant communities. Efforts, both underway and proposed, to build the case for comprehensive immigration reform and to help prepare immigrants for eventual opportunities to adjust their immigration status will be examined.
Session Moderator: Mark Franken, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
Josh Bernstein, Director of Immigration, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Angelica Salas, Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
Diana Tellefson, Executive Director, United Farm Workers Foundation, Southern California
Plenary Session IV: Immigrant Integration: A Full Federal Policy Agenda Session Moderator: Michael Fix, Co-Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, Migration Policy Institute Session Speakers:
While the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform remain murky, the Obama Administration will almost certainly have to grapple with a wide range of policies and legislation that will have profound impacts on immigrant integration in the United States. Three key issue areas will be addressed: health care reform and the implementation of the recently enacted SCHIP bill extending benefits to legal immigrant children and pregnant women; the education of immigrant and English Language Learner children, focusing on the No Child Left Behind Act reauthorization and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spending; and the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act and its implication for immigrant workers.
Leighton Ku, Professor in the Department of Health Policy, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University
Forrest P. Chisman, Executive Vice President, Council for Advancement of Adult Literacy
Peter Zamora, Senior Education Counsel, Office of Senator Jeff Bingaman
Plenary Session IV: Immigrant Integration: A Full Federal Policy Agenda
Session Moderator: Michael Fix, Co-Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, Migration Policy Institute