From the Border Wall to the Voting Booth: Immigration and the 2016 Election
October 25, 2016
Taliaferro Hall, Room 2110
Throughout the 2016 Presidential race, immigration has proven a dominant topic for both Democrats and Republicans. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have radically different policy approaches to the various immigration issues that face the United States and the world, including border security, paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and ongoing refugee crises in Central and South America as well as the Middle East. This forum will bring together panelists with a diverse range of knowledge and experience to discuss the candidates' approaches to immigration. Please join us for this important discussion as we sort through the fact and fiction of candidates' claims and interrogate how proposed policies will affect various facets of American life.
Mervat Hatem is professor of political science at Howard University in Washington DC. She is a former president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (2007-2009). Her areas of expertise are the study of international relations, the comparative politics of the Middle East and the study of Muslim and Arab communities in the US. One of her latest publications on the topic of the panel is "the Syrian Effects" and the Regional Quest for Human Dignity in the New Syrian, Egyptian and Tunisian Constitutions", in The Levant in Turmoil, edited by Martin Beck, Dietrich Jung and Peter Seeberg (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2016).
Alberto Fernández is the Director of Latino and Community Engagement at Working America, AFL-CIO. He joined Working America in 2015 to direct the Working America We Rise project serving immigrant workers and their communities. His current responsibilities include implementing Working America’s outreach program across language and racial/ethnic lines. Alberto was a student activist in Mexico City in the late 1990s and has worked for the labor movement both in Mexico and the US since 2000. He joined Working America after completing coursework and field research for his PhD in Politics from the New School for Social Research. While his dissertation focuses on freedom of association in Mexico and Argentina, Alberto also conducted extensive research on diaspora engagement programs and the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, immigrant associations, and immigrants' political participation. He has taught undergrad courses on Latin America Studies, Latin American Politics, Mexican Communities Abroad, and Transnationalism, as well as thesis seminars at William Paterson University, the New School University, and the "Matías Romero" Institute of the Mexican Foreign Service.
Sarah Pierce is an Associate Policy Analyst for U.S. Programs at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI). Her research expertise includes U.S. legal immigration processes and actors, the employment-based immigration system, and unaccompanied child migrants. Prior to joining MPI, Ms. Pierce practiced immigration law with a Chicago-based law firm, practicing before the immigration court, Board of Immigration Appeals, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and U.S. consulate offices abroad. Her common areas of practice included family- and employment-based immigration, such as nonimmigrant visas; waivers of inadmissibility; and employment-based permanent residency petitions. Ms. Pierce has also worked for and volunteered with a number of nonprofit organizations and government entities, including Human Rights Watch, the National Immigrant Justice Center, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Ms. Pierce holds a master of arts in international affairs from the George Washington University, with a focus on migration and development. Her master’s research included travel to El Salvador and the United Arab Emirates, and work on remittances, outmigration policies, and the relationship between labor rights and remittances. She also holds a J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law and a B.A. from Grinnell College.
Karla Valentina Casique Murillo is a junior multi-platform journalism major minoring in U.S. Latino/a Studies at the University of Maryland. She is a first-generation, DACAmented Latina who was born in La Victoria, Venezuela. She moved to the U.S. with her family when she was 7 due to political turmoil in her country. Ms. Casique is the Native American Community Organizing Student Intern for the Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy office, the president of the American Indian Student Union, a DJ at WMUC radio station, member of the Coalition of the Latinx Student Organizations (CLSO) and a Staff Reporter at The Writer's Bloc. She hopes to uplift undocumented and Latinx youth, as well as bring voice to those who are silenced and oppressed through her writing.
Nancy Mirabal is an associate professor in the University of Maryland American Studies Department and Director of the U.S. Latino/a Studies Program. She serves on the Center for Global Migration Studies advisory board. Mirabal earned a Ph.D. in History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and has published widely in the fields of Afro-diasporic communities in the United States.