Forum speakers to address impact of U.S. immigration policy

September 17, 2013

Lisle, Illinois ~ A massive increase in border security spending, a rise in deportations and other factors associated with a weakened economy have significantly slowed the number of people who choose to immigrate to the United States illegally.

But the nation still struggles with how to handle the more than 11 million unauthorized immigrants who current reside in the United States.

Comprehensive immigration reform has been a significant policy issue on the national stage since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, and congressional leaders are in the midst of debating the merits of the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced this year to overhaul old immigration policies.

How current state and federal laws affect this population and the cultural exchange along the divided borders will be discussed at the next Global Studies Forum, “Borderlands of Change: The U.S.-Mexican Border, and Immigration in a Transnational Context,” at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 19 in the Krasa Presentation Room.

The event is sponsored by the Global Studies major, the Office of Intercultural Education and International Affairs and the Center for Mission and Identity at Benedictine University.

Forum speakers include Rogelio Sáenz, Ph.D., dean of the College of Public Policy and Peter Flawn Professor of Demography at the University of Texas at San Antonio; Alaa Mukahhal, DREAMr, activist, and immigrant who will share her story and discuss immigration policy and the DREAMrs.
Sáenz has written extensively in the areas of demography, race and ethnic relations, inequality and immigration.

He is co-editor of “Latina/os in the United States: Changing the Face of América” and co-author of “Latino Issues: A Reference Handbook.” He also writes regularly for the Population Reference Bureau concerning ongoing demographic trends. He will examine the issues surrounding incarceration near the border, which includes state detainment and deportation laws, as well as the policies of the U.S. Border Patrol.

The Global Studies major at Benedictine combines the school’s unique cultural heritage sequence with courses from a number of disciplines to provide students with an understanding of the forces that are shaping the world and prepare them to act as responsible citizens in the 21st century.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Global Studies Forum, contact Chandra Palmer at (630) 829-6250 or


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2000-2010 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the third consecutive year in 2013. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area in 2013.

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