Mount Holyoke College

Weissman Center for Leadership
and the Liberal Arts

FALL 2006

Un/Welcome Guests:
Labor, Law, and the Politics of Immigration

“[W]e must remember that the vast majority of illegal immigrants are decent people who work hard, support their families, practice their faith, and lead responsible lives. They are a part of American life, but they are beyond the reach and protection of American law.”  George Bush, President of the United States, September 2006

There's no doubt that Mexican men and women full of dignity, willpower and a capacity for work are doing the work that not even blacks want to do in the United States. Vicente Fox, Former President of Mexico, May 2005

"Democracy is a process of inclusion, not exclusion. The need for changes in public policy and repairs to our broken immigration system impacts us all."

Esther Nieves, Director of Immigrant and Refugee Rights
The American Friends Service Committee, July 2006

“Un/Welcome Guests” will focus on the provocative and ongoing debates about immigration, illegal entry into the United States, and the intense racial, class, and ethnic politics that shape this contemporary issue.   This panel discussion will feature guests with wholly different perspectives on and approaches to the immigration debate.  Their views on labor, immigration, American history, and Mexican society will broaden our collective understanding of the high stakes and important issues that are part of this current debate on illegal immigration, guest worker programs, and labor.

Professor Flavio Risech-Ozeguera of Hampshire College is associate professor of law and ethnic studies. He has extensive professional and teaching expertise in transnational migrations, Latino and Latin American Studies, civil and human rights.  This fall, he is teaching “Border Matters: Mexico and the U.S.” at Hampshire College.

Gordon Lee Baum is the founder and executive director of the Council of Conservative Citizens.   Established in 1988, the conservative organization has chapters nationwide and publishes a quarterly newsletter entitled Citizens Informer.  CCC meetings have featured keynote lectures by the recently deceased long-time South Carolina Senator Jesse Helms and the former Mississippi Senator Trent Lott.   A Vietnam War veteran and former engineer at General Motors, Mr. Baum proposes that current immigration activities constitute a “full scale invasion” and that “dramatic change is irreversible.”  He advocates that all Americans, as members of a democracy, “should have knowledge of what’s happening.” 

Esther Nieves, director of the Immigrant and Refugee Rights division of the American Friends Service Committee, is a vocal expert featured regularly in ongoing public conversations about immigration.  She is a graduate of Mundelein College in Chicago, a Roman Catholic college for women that pioneered women’s studies programs and created a historic graduate program comprised completely of women faculty with doctoral degrees.   Ms. Nieves brings expertise and passion to her work on immigrant and refugee rights.  She also serves currently as the director of the AFSC’s Project Voice, a program that works to “uplift immigrant voices and strengthen efforts of immigrant-led organizations to set an agenda for fair and humane national public policies” (1).

Join us for a substantive and informative discussion of history, culture, law, and politics.

Photo: Illegal immigrant from Mexico detained by U.S. Border Patrol. Tricia McInroy. Tucson Citizen.
1)AFSC, News Release, “National Press Conferences Held: No Human Being Is Illegal.”  24 May 2006.

Event Details

Date: Thursday, October 26
Time: 7:30 PM
Speakers: Gordon Lee Baum, Esther Nieves, Flavio Risech-Ozeguera
Place: Gamble Auditorium, Art Building, Mount Holyoke College
Admission: Free and open to the public.


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