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Baruch College Presents Conference on Immigration Services in NYC

Daylong conference on 5/25 will analyze New York City immigration policy and how it intersects with the national debate on immigration

New York, NY, May 18, 2011 -- Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs will host a daylong conference to discuss New York immigration services and policies on Wednesday, May 25th. The conference is co-sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the City University of New York. Throughout the day, speakers will take a look at local immigration policies and services in the context of a burgeoning national debate on immigration and immigrants. The day concludes with the spring Lillie and Nathan Ackerman Lecture, “Finding the Keys to Consensus by Looking Ahead: Old Myths and New Realities,” delivered by Professor Dowell Myers of the University of Southern California.

“Too often, the debate over immigration policy generates more heat than light,” says SPA Dean David Birdsell. “This conference aims to shine a bright light on the practical challenges of providing services to immigrants -- from education to health care, to economic opportunity -- in the nation’s largest city, during a time of enormous conflict over immigration throughout the United States. What better place to do so than at a college that has since its inception nurtured the aspirations of thousands of talented immigrants? We’re pleased to be working with Commissioner Shama and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, as well as with colleagues across CUNY, on this important event.”

The conference will begin with the release of a new survey on New Yorkers’ attitudes towards immigrants. Baruch College questioned 1,200 city residents for the survey, which examines how New Yorkers’ thoughts on immigration are influenced by their economic status and feelings of security. Results will be presented by Mickey Blum, Director of Baruch Survey Research and Douglas Muzzio, Professor of Public Affairs at Baruch College.

Alan Aviles, President of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, will lead a lunch presentation on immigrant health issues. Mr. Aviles will discuss a range of challenges and tactical responses to service provision in hospitals that serve large immigrant communities.

In the Ackerman Lecture, which concludes the conference, Dowell Myers, Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Southern California and author of Immigrants and Boomers, will talk about ways to move the immigration debate beyond the sharp polarities of cable TV and into areas of consensus on which Americans might be more likely to find common ground.

Four panels combine insights from scholars, government officials and community leaders to get a handle on:

  • Immigrants and Educational Opportunity. Panelists include:

Ken Guest, Professor of Anthropology at Baruch College

Jay Hershenson, Senior Vice Chancellor for University Relations at CUNY

Melanie Reyes, Education Advocate at the New York Immigration Coalition

Laura Rodriguez, Deputy Chancellor for Disabilities and ELL at the NYCDOE

Robert Courtney Smith, Professor of Public Affairs at Baruch College

Immigrants and Economic Opportunity. Panelists include:

John Casey, Chair, School of Public Affairs at Baruch College

Hector Cordero-Guzman, Professor of Public Affairs, Baruch College

Edwin Melendez, Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies

Seth Pinsky, President, NYCEDC

Vilna Treitler, Professor of Black and Hispanic Studies at Baruch College.

  • Civic and Political Engagement in Immigrant Communications. Panelists include:

David Birdsell, Dean, School of Public Affairs at Baruch College

Sandra Dunn, Director of Immigration Programming at the Hagedorn Foundation

The Honorable Carlos Sada, Consul General, Mexican Consulate

John Mollenkopf, Director of the Center for Urban Affairs at the CUNY Graduate Center

Fatima Shama, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

  • Immigration and Law Enforcement. Panelists include:

Allan Wernick, Professor of Law at Baruch College

Sgt. Awad of the NYPD Immigrant Outreach Unit

Els de Graauw, Professor of Political Science at Baruch College

Joselo Lucero, Outreach Coordinator at the Hagedorn Foundation

Monica Varsanyi, Professor of Political Science at John Jay College.


A reception will follow the event from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

WHAT: Immigrants and Services in New York City

WHEN: Wednesday, May 25th

            8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Baruch College, Newman Vertical Campus

              55 Lexington Avenue, Room 14-220

Click here to register for this event.


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