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2007 E. James Holland University Symposium on American Values

Immigration in America: Building Policy Through History

America was built through the effort and dedication of millions of individuals who were, at one time, immigrants from other nations. Many Americans could easily trace their immediate lineage to foreign lands and many still identify culturally and personally with those countries. While we are proud of what we have become as a society, the fact remains that our connection to other societies cannot be overlooked.

Today, the debate about how (or if) immigration should be allowed is loud and passionate. Our government has tried many different immigration policies, but most have not worked as they were intended. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, between January 2000 and March 2005, 7.9 million new immigrants settled in the U.S., the highest five-year period of immigration in American history. Furthermore, despite sweeping changes in border security and government activities, nearly half of these immigrants are thought to be "illegal." Though opinions are plentiful about what to do about immigration policy, those on both sides of the debate would likely agree that the current policy is flawed.

These realities make the topic of the 2007 E. James Holland University Symposium on American Values quite timely. We need reasoned voices to rise above the exaggerations and one-sided arguments, so that true progress can be realized. The intention of this year's symposium is to provide an opportunity for realistic discussion.

Immigration is obviously a complex, multi-sided issue. The many ideas that have been suggested include: expelling all the illegal immigrants, revising immigration law, providing amnesty for those already here, requiring back taxes from those who are here illegally, and even building a wall along the Mexican border. Clearly, these ideas are not complete or perfect and no one right perspective exists. Only through shared vision and compromise will the issue of immigration be fairly and properly addressed.

The subject of immigration was not chosen for the symposium in order to provide a platform to scapegoat immigrants. Instead, we want to examine the reality of immigration in America today and learn what positive steps can be made to create practical, useful public policy. We encourage attendees to leave their preconceptions and assumptions behind as we encourage honesty with others and ourselves about the role of immigration in American society and as an American value.

The 2007 Holland Symposium brings two renowned speakers, Dr. Katharine Donato and Dr. Jorge Durand, to the ASU campus to challenge and educate us. We hope you will join us in the journey we will take "across the border."

Distinguished Speakers

Dr. Katharine Donato has been a professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University since 2006, following seven years in the sociology department at Rice University. Since 1996, she has been a principal investigator on a project "Health Consequence of Mexican Migration to the United States (MexMaH). The mission of this project is the analysis of the symbiotic impacts of health and migration over the life course of immigrants. The project, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and in close collaboration with El Colegio de San Luis in Mexico, has collected data from approximately 2,000 Mexican families on both sides of the border.

Dr. Donato's other work is supported by a number of organizations, including the National Science Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation. She has authored over 50 published articles and book chapters and 60 conference presentations and has delivered over 30 invited addresses to a variety of audiences.

Dr. Donato's address to the 2007 Holland Symposium will emphasize the social, industrial and familial impact of immigration, both on American society in general and on the migrants themselves. These impacts include, but are not limited to, the development of an immigrant labor market; demand for immigrant skills; health care for immigrants at various stages of life and its connection to public health services in the U.S.; and the role of the home caretaker in immigrant families. Her message will not only highlight problems that need to be solved, but will also provide ideas for their solutions.

Dr. Jorge Durand , is a professor of anthropology at the University of Guadalajara, México, and co-director of the Mexican Migration Project and the Latin American Migration Project. He is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences the American Philosophical Society. He has been studying and writing about Mexican migration to the United States for the last 20 years.

Dr. Durand's best-known works are Beyond Smoke and Mirrors (Russell Sage Foundation, 2002) and Crossing the Border: Research from the Mexican Migration Project (Russell Sage Foundation, 2004), considered to be landmark publications in the field. He has also written Más allá de la línea (CONACULTA, 1984); Miracles on the Border (Arizona University Press, 1995); La experiencia migrante (Universidad de Guadalajara, 2000); and Clandestinos: Migración mexicana en los albores del siglo XX (Editorial Porrua, 2003).

Dr. Durand's address to the 2007 Holland Symposium will examine the current and historical policies of the United States with respect to Mexican immigration, as well as the data that describes the patterns and trends in Mexican migration to the U.S. over the past several decades. He will point out some intended and unintended outcomes of past approaches to immigration and how they have contributed to shaping current immigration debate. His message will be frank and candid about the problems with current policy, but will also present a hopeful future vision for relations between the United States and Mexico.

E. James Holland and The History of The Symposium

The symposium is named in honor of Dr. E. James Holland, retired dean of the ASU College of Liberal and Fine Arts, who started the Symposium on American Values in 1984.

During his 36 years at ASU, Holland served the university as Professor of Government and Head of the Government Department, Director of Curriculum Development, Associate VP for Academic Affairs, and Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. With degrees from Southwestern University, Yale Divinity School, and The American University in Washington, D.C., Holland was instrumental in developing the university's international student and faculty exchange program and in establishing new degree programs in international studies, communications, studio arts, and criminal justice.

Holland is an active member of the San Angelo community, serving as president of Adult Day Care, Concho Educators Federal Credit Union, and United Campus Ministries and as a member of the Ancillary Manpower Planning Board of the Concho Valley Council of Government. He is active in St. Luke's United Methodist Church, where he chaired the Administrative Board of the Finance Committee.

Since its inception, the Symposium has brought more than 50 nationally prominent scholars, academicians, and policy-makers to the ASU campus to provoke thought and discussion on a wide range of themes. A collaboration of students, faculty members, and administrators, the Symposium is dedicated to improving the overall academic environment of the University and committed to exploring the national character as expressed in issues related to American values.

The two-day Symposium, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, is the central event in a broader program of related activities, including class visits by the featured presenters, a video production of the Symposium itself, and a creative contest with cash awards for students.

Presentation Schedule

October 29, 2007
1:45 p.m.
Dr. Jorge Durand
C.J. Davidson Conference Center, [UC]

October 30, 2007
2:00 p.m.
Dr. Katharine Donato
C.J. Davidson Conference Center, [UC]

Panel Discussion

October 30, 2007
7:30 p.m.
Panelists: Dr. Donato and Dr. Durand
C.J. Davidson Conference Center, [UC]

All sessions are free.