Past Event

Café Society: Immigration Reform: Where Should We Go From Here?

The urgency of immigration reform was underscored this past weekend as hundreds of thousands came together to advocate on behalf of the millions of undocumented workers in this country. Most people in the U.S. agree that the immigration system is in serious need of reform. As these marchers came together, lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate were weighing a myriad of options from across the political spectrum.

The issue of immigration reform has become one of the most divisive topics in the nation. A unique mix of intra-party politics, partisanship and election-year strategy has pushed the issue to the top of the agenda for the President and Congress, but there is little unity as to the best way to proceed.

The President, arguing that the economy is dependant upon the labor of undocumented workers, has proposed a guest worker program, coupled with a plan to allow those already here to legalize their status, more money for border control and tougher penalties for businesses who continue to employ those here illegally. Others in the Republican Party however, argue that this essentially rewards lawbreaking. They have proposed a bill that would make being in the United States illegally, or employing someone here illegally, a felony. Is this going too far or not far enough?

Illegal immigration has skyrocketed since the last round of reform in 1986. Will any of the proposed legislation decrease unauthorized border crossings? Many immigrant advocates argue that the U.S. labor market is dependent on the work that undocumented workers perform. What impact would either of these competing proposals have on our economy?

Join us this week at Cafe Society as we think about immigration reform.

This Week’s Articles:

Topic for April 11-14:

Justifying Racism and the Invention of Race: the Case of Saartjie Baartman, the “Venus Hottentot”

See the play, Voyeurs de Venus, at Chicago Dramatists this weekend at a discount for friends of thePublic Square at the IHC. See our website for details!

For more informaiton, please contact Kristin Millikan at 312.422.5580.