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Immigration Issues

The Maryland Journal of Race, Religion, Gender, and Class, The Women’s Bar Association, Immigration Law & Policy Association, Latino/a Law Student Association, and Asian Pacific American Law Student Association hosted the event, “Immigration Issues in the 2016 Election: Be Informed and Vote,” which attracted more than 100 attendees on October 27. The program enlisted several experts to discuss the many issues on immigration that surfaced during the last election cycle.

"This symposium was critically important as immigration was one of the dominant issues of the recent presidential campaign," said Professor Maureen Sweeney, director of the Immigration Clinic.

"In the wake of the recent election, the questions of the policy, context, and values of our immigration system are even more important, seeing as President-Elect Trump has identified immigration as a top priority in his first hundred days."

Sweeney moderated the event, which featured panelists including:

  • Sherally Munshi, Professor at Georgetown Law Center
  • Ashley Feasley, Director of Policy Migration and Refugee Services at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Hassan Ahmad, Managing Attorney at the HMA Law Firm
  • Avideh Moussavian, Economic Justice Attorney at the National Immigration Law Center
  • Carlos Event Guevera Del Bosque, Counselor at the Department of Homeland Security

Special guests, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Former Lt. Governor of Maryland, Anthony Brown, provided opening remarks.

The symposium started with a discussion of how immigration issues have historically been addressed during Presidential elections. After introducing immigration issues in the historical context, the discussion shifted to the many controversial issues surrounding immigration in this election, including the positive effect that immigrants have on the economy.

Other topics included border security under the Obama administration, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). The panelists discussed the Supreme Court’s 4 to 4 deadlock in U.S. v. Texas, which in effect upheld the Fifth Circuit’s decision that the executive programs were not constitutional.

Other immigration issues discussed by panelists were the Syrian refugee crisis, asylum seekers, and the consequences and effects of the political rhetoric and tactics used in the 2016 election.

"After the heat generated by an often bitter campaign, we need to ensure space for thoughtful policy discussions on these very complex issues," added Sweeney. "This symposium was a great start to that conversation."

The Pearl and Lawrence I Gerber Memorial Lecture Fund provided financial support for the program. 


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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Admissions: PHONE: (410) 706-3492 FAX: (410) 706-1793

Copyright © 2018, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved