Do current and proposed state and federal immigration policies measure up to the demands of the Gospel?

The next “Hot Topics: Cool Talk” forum at the University of St. Thomas will examine immigration-related questions in light of Catholic teaching. The forum, free and open to the public, will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 2, in Room 235 of the St. Thomas School of Law on the university’s downtown Minneapolis campus.

Moderator of the forum is retired Immigration Judge Joseph Dierkes, who served as an attorney with the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the Kansas City district office from 1987 to 1997, and then as an immigration judge in Bloomington until his retirement in 2008.

Virgil Wiebe

The two speakers are Virgil Wiebe, a member of the St. Thomas School of Law faculty and director of clinical education and the Immigration Law Clinic, and Dr. Andrew Yuengert, the John and Francis Duggan Chair of Economics at Pepperdine University’s Seaver College.

As director of the Immigration Law Clinic, Wiebe supervises students as they represent clients before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Immigration Court. A Rhodes Scholar and an editor of the New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, Wiebe served four years as director of immigration services for Interfaith Community Services in New York City.

Andrew Yuengert

Yuengert, a former research economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is a former president of the Association of Christian Economists and edits its journal, Faith and Economics. His writings on economic philosophy and Catholic social teaching include the book, Inhabiting the Land: The Case for the Right to Migrate.

The Hot Topics: Cool Talk series is sponsored by St. Thomas’ Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy. This is the sixth event in an eight-part series that provides a forum for dialogue on current political issues in a context divorced from the heat of a political campaign. Each program features two experts respectfully engaging in a civil discourse on a policy issue important to the 2012 election.

A complimentary lunch will be provided to those who register online. For more information about the series, and to register for the March 2 forum, visit the Murphy Institute website. The forum has been approved for continuing-legal-education credit.

The remaining forums deal with punishment theory, on April 20, and responsible citizenship, on May 3.