Is America still an immigration nation?

Wednesday 17 November, 6.00pm until 7.30pm, Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington Avenue Branch, 150 East 86th Street, New York NY 10028, USA

Venue: Barnes & Noble, 86th & Lexington Avenue Branch, 150 East 86th Street, New York NY 10028, USA

Tickets: This event is free and open to the public. For further information please email Jean: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

With an estimated twelve million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., many people agree that something must be done. At the same time most citizens acknowledge with pride that our country was founded by immigrants seeking to build a better future for themselves and their families. No other country has offered this to the same extent as the U.S. This implied open borders not only for people traveling inside the country but also for people traveling or moving to the U.S.

Many have lambasted Arizona’s new immigration legislation signed into law in April by Republican governor Jan Brewer. In July a federal judge blocked implementation of provisions in that law that require police to determine the immigration status of people they stop and suspect of being in the U.S. illegally. And yet there has been much less criticism of the Democrats’ plans to tighten border security and require all U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who want jobs to obtain a high-tech, fraud-proof Social Security card each with a unique biometric identifier.

As the temperature rises in the immigration debate, what should our vision be for American society in the twenty-first century? Do we want to live in a country that shuts others out or is there a moral case to be made that welcomes immigrants and their aspiration for a better life?

Donna Lieberman
executive director, NYCLU

Jason Riley
member, editorial board, Wall Street Journal; author, Let Them In: the case for open borders

Dr Alex Standish
senior lecturer in geography education, University College London/Institute of Education

Gary Younge
columnist, Guardian; author, Who Are We: and should it matter in the 21st century?

Jean Smith
co-founder and director, NY Salon

Produced by
Jean Smith co-founder and director, NY Salon
Recommended readings
Immigrants cause job losses? Like ice-cream brings sharks

To claim the statistics show that foreigners are to blame for rising unemployment is a leap of xenophobic bad faith

Gary Younge, Guardian, 16 August 2010

Who Are We: and should it matter in the 21st century?

We are more alike than we are unalike. But the way we are unalike matters.

Gary Younge, Viking, 3 June 2010

The hypocrisy of Arizona bashing

If the Grand Canyon state’s immigration laws seem authoritarian, wait till you see what the Democrats are proposing.

Alex Standish, spiked, 6 May 2010

Yes, we need an honest immigration debate. But this tough talk isn't it

Racist fear-mongering prevents discussion of the poverty, natural disasters and wars that cause people to emigrate

Gary Younge, Guardian, 26 April 2010

Let Them in: The Case for Open Borders

An examination of US immigration policy.

Jason Riley, Gotham Books, 30 December 2008

Keep the Immigrants, Deport the Multiculturalists

Social conservatives who want to seal the border in response to these left-wing elites are directing their wrath at the wrong people. The problem isn't the immigrants. The problem is the militant multiculturalists who want to turn America into some loose federation of ethnic and racial groups.

Jason L. Riley, Wall Street Journal, 15 May 2008

Let's remake America the 'Land of the Free'

Immigrants to the US are no threat to jobs or security: they're citizens-in-waiting who should be welcomed by all who care for liberty and progress

Alex Standish, spiked, 24 July 2007

Immigration Reform

Our broken immigration system has led to a civil rights and liberties crisis in New York and across the country. The NYCLU and our allies are mobilizing throughout the state to make sure Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform this year that protects everybody’s rights.


Immigrants' Rights

The NYCLU has long been a strong defender of the rights of immigrants in New York, as the state has one of the largest and most diverse immigrant populations in the United States.


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