Immigration Law, Policy, and Obama’s Executive Action Discussed at USF March 24

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The University of San Francisco (USF) will partner with the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) to host a March 24 panel discussion on US immigration history, policy and civil society. The discussion, “US Immigration Law and Civil Society: The Road to Executive Action and Beyond,” will feature leading scholars and practitioners in the field.

University of San Francisco

“This event will spotlight the incredible work and scholarship being done to assist one of the most marginalized groups in our society today,” said Michael Duffy, director of USF’s Lane Center.

The University of San Francisco (USF) is partnering with the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) to host a panel discussion on US immigration history, policy and civil society. The discussion, “US Immigration Law and Civil Society: The Road to Executive Action and Beyond,” will feature leading scholars and practitioners in the field. Organized by USF’s Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought and CMS, the event is free and open to the public. It will take place at the McLaren Conference Center on USF’s main campus (2130 Fulton Street), March 24, 2015 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

The event will explore executive action and other recent developments in the immigration world in relation to a new book, International Migration, US Immigration Law and Civil Society: From the Colonial Era to the 113th Congress. Published by the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) in collaboration with CMS, the book analyzes the themes, trends and challenges that have driven US immigration law and policy through history.

The panel discussion will explore:

  •     The evolution of US immigration law and policy and the use of executive action.
  •     The growing influence of civil society in the US immigration debate and in immigrant communities, particularly in securing and implementing the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs.
  •     Immigration scholarship and initiatives taking place at USF, including the Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Assistance Project in which USF Law School students are providing legal assistance to unaccompanied minors as they navigate the US immigration system.

The panel discussion will feature two of the book’s contributors: Sara Campos, immigration attorney, writer and consultant; and Charles Wheeler, senior attorney and director of training and legal support for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), as well as USF Professor of Law Bill Ong Hing. USF Professor of Social Ethics Lois Lorentzen will moderate the panel, with introductory remarks offered by Fr. Leonir Chiarello, C.S., executive director of SIMN.

The book, co-edited by Fr. Leonir Chiarello and CMS Executive Director Donald Kerwin, is the tenth in a series on international migration to and within the Americas. The series seeks to improve migration governance in the Americas by educating policymakers and the public on the benefits, trade-offs and human dimensions of migration. “This volume analyzes the long history of migration to the territory that now constitutes the United States, the shorter history of US immigration law and policy, and the growing influence of civil society in the immigration debate in recent decades,” said Kerwin. “The book highlights both the need to regularly assess and revisit US immigration laws and the difficulty in legislating in this area, as illustrated by the current impasse in Congress over immigration reform and the battle between Congress and President over executive action, despite outdated laws that have not been substantially revised since 1990 or overhauled since 1965.”

At different times in US history, the exercise of prosecutorial discretion has been used to suspend the enforcement of immigration laws toward particular groups of noncitizens. The executive action initiatives announced by President Obama in November 2014, which would extend administrative relief to as many as 5.2 million individuals that lack immigration status, represents the most ambitious use of executive discretion to date. Despite the temporary injunction to prevent their implementation, nongovernmental and community-based organizations continue to prepare for these initiatives.

“This event will spotlight the incredible work and scholarship being done to assist one of the most marginalized groups in our society today,” said Michael Duffy, director of USF’s Lane Center. “Our hope is that attendees will walk away with a deeper understanding of the historical, legal, and cultural aspects of immigration reform, and why immigrant rights are vital to creating a just and fair society.”

International Migration, U.S. Immigration Law and Civil Society: From the Colonial Era to the 113th Congress will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Media interested in covering this event, or to request an interview with panelists, should contact Anne-Marie Devine Tasto, senior director of media relations, at (415) 422-2697 or abdevine(at)usfca(dot)edu.

Parking for attendees will be available at the USF Koret Recreational Center parking structure located at the corner of Turk Street and Parker Avenue in San Francisco.

Live stream of the event will be available at the following link: http://www.usfca.edu/stream/immigration-talk/

For further information or accommodations, please contact Michael Duffy at USF’s Lane Center (415) 422-5200 or lanecenter(at)usfca(dot)edu.

About the University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world's most innovative and stunning cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco’s first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student's passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World from Here.” For more information, please visit http://www.usfca.edu.

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Anne-Marie Devine Tasto
University of San Francisco
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Anne-Marie Devine Tasto
USF
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