New School President Bob Kerrey and a panel of leading experts with divergent viewpoints engage in lively debate to hammer out practical, legislative approaches to immigration reform.
Speakers discuss why a legislative solution is critical and what the right legislation would look like. They also examine the McCain/Kennedy Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act and subsequent proposals and discuss which aspects of those proposed solutions are feasible and well thought-out.
Finally, the speakers assess what the new Administration has accomplished in its first 100 days and what it needs to address going forward.
Speakers include: Michael Aytes, acting deputy director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security; Tamar Jacoby, president & CEO, ImmigrationWorks USA, Inc.; Mark Krikorian, executive director, The Center for Immigration Studies; Marshall Fitz, director of advocacy, American Immigration Lawyers Association; Jeffrey Passel, senior demographer, Pew Hispanic Center; and Alec Ian Gershberg (contributing moderator), Associate Professor, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy.
Michael Aytes serves as Acting Deputy Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the Department of Homeland Security. Named to this position on April 18, 2008, Mr. Aytes today serves as the Agency's highest ranking official.
Marshall Fitz is Director of Immigration Policy at American Progress. Before holding his current position he served as the director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, where he led the education and advocacy efforts on all immigration policy issues for the 11,000-member professional bar association.
He has been a leader in national and grassroots coalitions that have organized to advance progressive immigration policies.
Alec Gershberg (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is an Associate Professor at Milano and a specialist on school governance, education finance, and decentralization both in the developing world and the U.S. He has conducted extensive research on Latin America particularly Mexico, Nicaragua, and Ecuador focusing on the decentralization of power to schools, communities and governments.
More recently, he has worked on similar themes in Egypt, Romania, and Sub-Saharan Africa. He has been a frequent consultant to the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Urban Institute.
Tamar Jacoby, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, writes extensively on immigration and citizenship. She is a leading conservative voice in the media and elsewhere in favor of immigration reform, and works to organize the center-right behind reform proposals taking shape in Washington.
Her 1998 book, Someone Else’s House: America’s Unfinished Struggle for Integration (Basic Books), tells the story of race relations in three American cities—New York, Detroit and Atlanta. The Economist magazine called it "arguably the most important study of race relations in America since Gunnar Myrdal’s An American Dilemma was published in 1944."
A more recent book, Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What It Means To Be American, was published by Basic Books in February 2004. A collection of essays by a diverse group of authors—academics, journalists and fiction-writers on both the right and the left—it argues that we as a nation need to find new ways to talk about and encourage immigrant absorption in American society.
In addition to her published writings and media commentary, in the past few years she has been working behind the scenes in Washington to help develop immigration policy, writing policy papers, testifying in Congress and working with a range of congressional offices.
Before joining the Manhattan Institute, from 1987 to 1989, she was a senior writer and justice editor for Newsweek, where she wrote weekly articles on criminal justice, the Supreme Court and other law-related topics. Between 1981 and 1987, she was the deputy editor of The New York Times op-ed page. Before that, she was assistant to the editor of The New York Review of Books.
In 2004, she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A graduate of Yale University, she has taught at Yale, Cooper Union and the New School University. She lives in Washington, DC.
January 1, 2011, Bob Kerrey completed his tenure as seventh President of The New School, a university founded on strong democratic ideals and daring educational practices, an environment that was well suited for his leadership. He also served as New School's President Emeritus from January 1, 2011 to January 31, 2013.
Prior to coming to The New School Bob Kerrey represented Nebraska in the United States Senate. For two terms, Senator Kerrey emphasized the direct connection between citizens and their laws, and made a concerted effort to allow Nebraskans to participate in writing laws that defined the quality and inclusiveness of their health care system, their schools and the safety of their communities. He served on the Senate's Agriculture and Forestry Committee, Senate's Appropriations Committee, Senate's Finance Committee, and last but not least on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence where he worked to restructure our intelligence agencies to improve their capacity to meet the threats faced by our country. Prior to serving in the U.S. Senate Bob Kerrey served a single term as Nebraska's Governor. He established a reputation as a fiscal conservative who regularly crossed political party lines for the good of Nebraska and the Country.
Bob Kerrey served three years in the United States Navy. While in Vietnam, he was wounded, permanently disabled from the injury, and from this injury received a great gift: Sympathy for those who are suffering and an appreciation for the capacity of government to save your life. Before his time in the Navy Bob Kerrey attended the University of Nebraska graduating in January 1966 with a BS degree in pharmacy. He was born in Lincoln and attended public schools there. In 2002 he published a memoir "When I Was A Young Man."
Bob Kerrey is married to Sarah Paley and lives in New York. The couple has a 12-year-old son, Henry, and Mr. Kerrey has two children from his previous marriage, Ben and Lindsey Kerrey, and four grandchildren.
Jeffrey Passel is senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center. A nationally known expert on immigration to the United States and the demography racial and ethnic groups, Passel formerly served as principal research associate at the Urban Institute's Labor, Human Services and Population Center.
Passel has authored numerous studies on immigrant populations in America, focusing on such topics as undocumented immigration, the economic and fiscal impact of the foreign born, and the impact of welfare reform on immigrant populations.