Navigating the Immigration Debate and Chicago's Experience

Alejandro Escalona, Contributing Columnist, Chicago Sun-Times and Spanish language weekly, La Raza; , Representatives of the Emerging Leaders Class of 2009. Introduced by Marshall M. Bouton.

Immigration policy is paralyzed at the federal level and is polarizing communities across the United States. In light of the nation’s division, thirty-nine states introduced immigration-related legislation at the local level during the first six months of 2011. The Chicago Council’s Emerging Leaders Class of 2009 identified the topic of immigration as a vital issue confronting the United States, and particularly Chicago, a city that has been shaped by generations of immigrants. At this program, the Emerging Leaders will release their report, a culmination of a year-long study of the dimensions they found to be crucial to navigating the tricky shoals of the immigration debate. Their report aims to provide a framework for thinking about the issues surrounding immigration and for how Chicago leaders can and should engage.

Drawing from experiences in Chicago and throughout the United States, four of the twenty members of the Emerging Leaders Class of 2009 will introduce their group’s study and findings. Presenters include Barbara Higgins, senior vice president for customer experience and retention with Allstate Insurance; Paul Christensen, associate dean of global programs at Northwestern University; Anthony Simpkins, deputy commissioner of the Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development, and Milena Novy-Marx, program officer in the global security and sustainability program of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Speaker Bio

Additional Information

Escalona, “Illinois Takes Lead in Humane Reform of Immigration Law,” Chicago Sun-Times, 09/22/2011