St. Thomas’ Holloran Center was Host of Forum on Immigration and the New Arizona Law. In a preview of the debate ultimately destined for Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court, the University of St. Thomas hosted a forum, “What Are the Legal and Ethical Boundaries for Dealing With Immigration: Is the New Arizona Law an Appropriate Response?” on Sept. 9.
The forum was hosted by the university’s School of Law and its Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, with the support of Medtronic, Inc. The Opus College of Business and its Center for Ethical Business Cultures were sponsors of the event.
The event brought together scholars and nationally known advocates for and against Arizona’s new legislation to share their views on the Arizona law and the issue of immigration in general.
Professor Gabriel “Jack” Chin from the University of Arizona Rogers College of Law opened the program with insights into the Arizona case, some of which recently have been featured in The New York Times, the Washington Post and National Public Radio.
Next, two key players in the development of and opposition to the Arizona law debated its merits. They were: Michael Hethmon, general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, who helped draft the state’s immigration statute (SB 1070) and filed a brief in the Arizona litigation on behalf of 81 members of Congress in support of the law.
Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, who served as lead counsel for MALDEF’s successful challenges of California Proposition 187 and now is overseeing the organization’s challenge to Arizona’s new immigration statute.
The debate was followed by a panel discussion featuring Chin, Professor Katherine Fennelly and Jessica Vaughan. Fennelly is affiliated with the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and recently completed a report on “The Economic Impact of Immigrants in Minnesota.” Vaughan is the director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., and has filed a declaration in support of SB 1070 in the Arizona litigation.
The Most Reverend Harry Flynn, retired former head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and the chair of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees, provided closing remarks.
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