In a preview of the debate ultimately destined for Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court, the University of St. Thomas will host an upcoming forum on “What Are the Legal and Ethical Boundaries for Dealing with Immigration: Is the New Arizona Law an Appropriate Response?”

Hosted by the university’s Law School and its Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions with the support of Medtronic Inc., the free public forum will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, in the Schulze Grand Atrium at the St. Thomas School of Law in downtown Minneapolis.

The event brings 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 will open the program with insights into the Arizona case, some of which recently have been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post and National Public Radio.

Next, two key players in the development of and opposition to the Arizona law will debate its merits: 

  • Michael Hethmon, general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, 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, 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 will be 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 Rev. Harry Flynn, retired archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will give closing remarks.

The program is one of an ongoing series of Medtronic Business and Law Roundtables. Sponsors for the event are the University of St. Thomas and its Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, Center for Ethical Business Cultures, Opus College of Business and School of Law.

The forum is free and open to the public but reservations are requested. To register for the event and for more information visit the Holloran Center’s website.  Free C.L.E. credits will be applied for. A reception with light refreshments will follow the discussion.