Comprehensive immigration reform has been a hot button issue for decades in this country. Immigration policy forces politicians and citizens alike to weigh economic and security concerns against humanitarian interests.
The current administration has approached this issue with an emphasis on "security first" regarding immigration policy, looking to slash immigration to the United States. Measures including the "travel ban," the proposed border-wall with Mexico, and pledges to deport millions of undocumented immigrants all raise questions on how to balance keeping America safe from terrorism while still being a "nation of immigrants."
This panel examines the Immigration Debate: Balancing Security and Compassion. The event is co-sponsored by Vilna Shul, Boston's Center for Jewish Culture.
BIO: Matthew Segal
Matthew Segal has been legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts since 2012. Leading a team of civil rights lawyers, he has litigated cases that halted the Muslim ban, overturned 21,587 wrongful convictions and protected cell phone location data. Previously, as an assistant federal defender, Matt argued a case that led to hundreds of exonerations and re-sentencings.
BIO: Rodrigo Saavedra
Rodrigo Saavedra is the Memory Program Director at the Ayni Institute, which focuses on creating a more reciprocal world through the development of training and research for social movements and preserving the wisdom and traditions of indigenous communities from around the world. A DACA recipient and community organizer, Rodrigo has appeared in major nationwide news outlets. Rodrigo Saavedra has worked at the Ayni Institute since 2016. His drive to support the Memory Program stems from his journey of being an immigrant who has been unable to visit his home of Peru since he was four years old. Rodrigo graduated from Clark University where he studied International Relations and was named a LEEP Fellow. For three years he worked in supporting Central American youth with their asylum cases. In 2015, he was one of researchers who contributed to the Joint US China Collaboration on Clean Energy’s environmental report that was presented at the EAT Forum in Stockholm, Sweden. He has worked as a Volunteer Organizer at Movimiento Cosecha assisting in campaigns and assemblies. He was also a featured guest writer on immigration in The Nation Magazine.
BIO: Jessica Vaughn
Jessica Vaughan serves as Director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, DC-based immigration research institute. As an expert on immigration policy and operations, she educates policymakers and agencies on immigration topics. She has been widely published in the media, and has testified before Congress several times.
BIO: Julia Preston
Julia Preston is a Contributing Writer at The Marshall Project, a non-profit journalism organization focusing on criminal justice and immigration. She previously worked at The New York Times as the national correspondent covering immigration. Ms. Preston was a member of The New York Times staff that won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for reporting on international affairs, for a series that revealed the corrosive effects of drug corruption in Mexico.