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Crisis at our Borders: The Human Reality Behind the Immigration Debate
October 26, 2009

Crisis at our Borders: The Human Reality Behind the Immigration Debate
The Women's Shelter at the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, provides respite for women and their children after they have been deported from the United States. (Christian Fuchs - Jesuit Refugee Service/USA)
Washington, D.C. - A one-day conference aimed primarily at students from Georgetown University, this event seeks to educate and inspire students to greater knowledge, commitment, and action for immigration reform. 

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Jesuit Conference of the United States, Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service, the Institute for the Study of International Migration, and the Woodstock Theological Center will host the conference in the Intercultural Center Auditorium on the campus of Georgetown University Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Scheduled speakers include: Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Diocese of Tucson, Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J., Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative; Chris West, CRS organizer with the Justice for Immigrants campaign; Don Kerwin, Vice President for Programs at the Migration Policy Institute; Jessica Owens, Counsel to Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D.–N.Y.); Prof. Alexander Aleinikoff, Dean, Georgetown University Law Center; Rev. Delle McCormick, Executive Director of BorderLinks; and Adrian Gonzalez of Frontera de Cristo; Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice; and Chief Tom Manger of the Montgomery County, Md., Police Department.

A series of panel discussions will put a human face on the migrant experience by sharing personal narratives of individuals crossing the border; explore political/legal, economic, ethical and law enforcement perspectives on the current immigration system; make the case for policy changes, discussing ways in which the current system is failing immigrants and our communities. It also will explore the prospects for immigration reform, discuss the key players in the process and talk about what such reform may look like.


8:30 a.m. – 9:05 a.m. Registration

9:00 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. Human Rights/Human Dignity – Understanding the Need for Immigration Reform from a Border Perspective
Dan Porterfield, Sr. VP for Strategic Programming for GU; Most Rev. Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Vice President of USCCB and Bishop of Diocese of Tucson; Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice

10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. And You Welcomed Me - Humanitarian Responses to the Border
Fr. Sean Carroll, SJ, Executive Director of Kino Border Initiative; Adrian Gonzalez, Board Member of Frontera de Cristo; Rev. Delle McCormick, Executive Director of BorderLinks

11:40 a.m. – 12:55 p.m. “A Problem Begging to be Fixed,” - The Costs and Consequences of our “Broken” Immigration System
T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Dean of GU Law Center; Ana Avendaño, Associate General Counsel for AFL-CIO; Police Chief J. Thomas Manger, Montgomery County, MD

1:15p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Strangers No Longer – Comprehensive Immigration Reform and You
Don Kerwin, VP for Programs for Migration Policy Institute; Jessica Owens, Immigration Counsel to Senator Schumer; Chris West, CRS Representative to Justice for Immigrants Campaign

2:30 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. Open Forum: Responding to the Crisis on our Borders: Ways that you can get involved
Justice for Immigrants Campaign; Border Awareness Experience; DC Schools Project; Interfaith Immigration Coalition; Jesuit Refugee Service and KBI; Center for Social Justice; Woodstock Theological Center

This event is free and open to the public.

Press Contact Information
Mr Christian Fuchs
202-462-0400 ext. 5946