RIT Immigration Lecture Series Continues March 20

Immigration research fellow and immigration law and policy expert host panel

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Daniel Costa and Jerry Kammer

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Immigration Policy Lecture Series continues with a panel hosted by journalist and immigration fellow Jerry Kammer and immigration policy analyst and attorney Daniel Costa who will be a part of “Behind the Numbers: How Think Tanks Influence the Immigration Policy Debate,” 2-3:30 p.m. March 20 in Carlson Auditorium, Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science.

Kammer is a senior research fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies. Prior to this, he worked as a journalist for many publications including the Arizona Republic where he was the Northern Mexico correspondent. As an investigative reporter in Arizona, he covered the national savings and loan scandal. In 2000, Kammer became the Republic’s Washington, D.C., correspondent and joined the Washington bureau of Copley News Service and the San Diego Tribune, where he specialized in immigration and U.S.-Mexico relations. Kammer earned a Pulitzer Prize in national reporting for his coverage of the congressional scandal involving Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-Calif.). He also received the Robert F. Kennedy Award for his reporting on the living and working conditions of workers in the Mexican maquiladora industry.

Costa, an immigration policy analyst from the Economic Policy Institute, is an attorney with expertise in international migration law and policy, treaty law and practice and humanitarian affairs. He previously worked on developing the legal and normative framework for disaster response and humanitarian relief operations with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, Switzerland, and as a policy analyst at the Great Valley Center, a University of California think tank, where he managed an immigrant integration program. Prior to that, he interned overseas with the U.S. State Department and was one of the few Americans ever selected to participate in the United Nations’ International Law Commission’s annual seminar.

“Think tanks play a crucial role in immigration policymaking,” says Ron Hira, associate professor of public policy at RIT and an event organizer. “They generate new ideas on how to solve the complex issues arising in immigration policy and they help to vet the solutions being offered by interest groups and politicians. Daniel Costa and Jerry Kammer are two of the most important experts engaged in the policy debates, and they represent two very different perspectives. We invited them here because we believe the panel can help the Rochester community better understand the nuances of this critical national policy debate.”

The Immigration Policy Lecture Series is sponsored by RIT’s Department of Communication; Department of Science, Technology and Society/Public Policy; Urban and Community Studies Program; Department of Sociology/Anthropology; Rochester and Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation; the AFL-CIO; the Ronald G. Pettengill Labor Education Fund; and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

“We hope this series raises awareness about the substantive issues related to immigration and encourages people to look beyond the rhetoric that frames the public debate,” says Andrea Hickerson, assistant professor of communication and event co-organizer.

All lectures in this series are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Hickerson at 585-475-6129 or aahgpt@rit.edu.