RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Scholars, policymakers and community organizers from across the country will convene at UC Riverside for an all-day summit on immigration reform on Saturday, March 16.
Organized by UCR AIR — the student-led Alliance for Immigration Reform — and Armando Navarro, UCR professor of ethnic studies, the summit will hear from scholars who study immigration policy, legislators who create policy, and representatives of labor, human rights and immigrant groups who work with immigrant communities.
The event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Highlander Union Building Room 302. Registration by mail is required by March 1; or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling UCR Chicano Student Programs, (951) 827-3821, by March 13. The cost is $10 for university students with student ID or $15 for general admission; admission is free for high school students. The mail-in form is available at http://www.airucr.org.
“Hundreds of individuals from divergent sectors, organizations and communities from throughout the country who are committed to achieving humane comprehensive immigration reform will converge on March 16,” Navarro said. “Not since the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which legalized some 3 million undocumented persons, has the country been at a juncture to achieve immigration reform.”
National Leadership Summit for Immigration Reform attendees will learn about the most current policy proposals advanced by Congress and the White House and, after discussion, will try to reach consensus on legislation to accomplish immigration reform and develop a strategic plan of action to advocate for whatever position the group adopts.
Students enrolled in Navarro’s “Chicano Contemporary Issues” course decided to organize the summit as a “practicum in political change,” said Navarro, adding that the event appears to be the only one in the country to invite immigration reform leaders with varying perspectives to debate the issue.
UC Riverside is a logical choice to host such an event because the university is one of the most diverse in the nation, Joseph Cobbs, co-chair of UCR AIR, said at a Feb. 22 press conference announcing the summit. Student organizers acknowledge the challenges of reforming immigration policy, he said, but believe that “just because there is no action on Capitol Hill doesn’t mean that we can’t act” in a way that informs the debate.
Policymakers who will participate in the summit are: Felipe Aguirre, mayor of the city of Maywood, Calif.; Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside; Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Cerritos; Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside; and former Rep. Joe Baca.
Participating scholars are: Miguel Tinker Salas, professor of history, Pomona College; Rudy Acuña, professor of history emeritus, California State University, Northridge; Juan Gomez-Quinonez, professor of history, UCLA; Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate professor of political science, UCR; Jesse Diaz, professor of sociology, La Sierra University; and Ellen Reese, associate professor of sociology, UCR.
Speaking during the lunch hour will be Gil Cedillo, former California state senator and a candidate for election to the Los Angeles City Council, and Lucero Chavez, an ACLU staff attorney.
Presenting responses to legislation proposed by Congress and President Barack Obama will be: Maria Jimenez, member of the Immigration Law Enforcement Monitory Project, Texas; Isabel Garcia, an attorney with the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Arizona; Nita Gonzales, director of Escuela Tlteloco, Colorado; Herman Baca, Committee on Chicano Rights, California; a representative from Justice for Immigrants Coalition-Inland Empire, California; Carlos Arrango, president of the United Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Illinois; Carlos Montes, director of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, California; and Juan Carlos Loera, a representative of Mexicana/os in the Exterior, MORENA, Mexico.
Participating in the strategy planning session will be: Herman Baca; Isabel Garcia; Nita Gonzales; a representative from Justice for Immigrants Coalition-Inland Empire; Carlos Montes; Angelica Salas of CHIRLA, California; Carlos Arrango; Javier Rodriguez of La Ruela de Javire, California; a representative from Dreamers; Walter Ulloa, chairman and chief executive officer of Entravision Communications Corp.; Mario Lazcano, director of Comité Latino, California; a representative of El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, New Mexico; and Juan Carlos Loera.
for more information go to http://www.airucr.org/
Summit sponsors are: Entravision Commuication Corp., UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, UCR Asian Student Programs, UCR Chicano Student Programs, UCR Department of Ethnic Studies, UCR LGBT Program, UCR YOK Center for Korean American Studies, the law firm of Carlos Juarez, Oro Group, and Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate professor of political science at UCR.