Brown’s One-sided Immigration “Symposium”

Let me start with the caveat that I didn’t attend Brown’s immigration symposium convened to discuss a poll (that I’ve already touched on) and am relying on this morning’s report from the ProJo. That out of the way, stepping back, it really is remarkable, if unsurprising, that a supposed institution of higher learning would hold a symposium on such a hot-button issue as immigration–illegal and otherwise (as is standard “immigrant” advocacy practice, they conflated the two in the poll, too)–and offer only one side of the argument. According to the article, here’s a sample of the wide-ranging views represented at the conference:

[Bishop Thomas Tobin] urged that people recognize that immigrants, “regardless of the status of their paperwork, are children of God and our brothers and sisters in the human family.”
Brown history professor Evelyn Hu-Dehart called the term “alien,” as applied to illegal or undocumented immigrants, “a very problematic word” used to distinguish “between good and bad immigrants…I ask you to think about that word — alien not only as a stranger, but dangerously different and undesirably opposite of the warm and fuzzy feeling we conjure when we think of the [American] melting pot.”
Nasser Zawia, dean of the graduate school at the University of Rhode Island, said that as a Muslim, Arab and member of the Yemeni community, “I guess I’m the ‘enemy alien.’ I’m also part of the community in conflict with the United States. I’m always, the ‘other.’ ”
Symposium organizer Alexandra Filindra, of Brown University, said she was heartened by the survey results showing 68 percent of Rhode Islanders favor extending in-state tuition rates to undocumented children who graduate from Rhode Island high schools.

Was it really that one-sided or did the ProJo simply not report on the alternate views (if any) that were expressed? I’m not sure, a closer look at the 5 members on the Symposium’s panel seems to confirm the suspicion. In addition to the aforementioned Dr. Hu-Duhart, here were the other 4 members on the “Expert Panel on Immigration”:
Dr. Michael A. Olivas – President of the American Association of Law Schools and Professor of Law at the University of Houston. Olivas is an advocate for allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.
Dr. M. Daniel Carroll, Professor of the Old Testament, Denver Seminary has his own blog. He approaches the issue from the same moral Christian perspective as Bishop Tobin.
Dr. George Borts, Professor of Economics, Brown University is a Club for Growth cited advocate of Free trade. Borts has written an op-ed calling for immigration reform and denouncing the labels of “alien” and the rise of what he calls “nativism”.
Dr. Cynthia Garcia Coll, Professor of Education, Brown University seems to center her research on immigrant children and often turns up at rallies (for instance, the DREAM act rally) that support immigrant–illegal and legal–rights.
Now, there is certainly some generality here given the rudimentary research I did, but I think it’s safe to believe that all of the above could be considered sympathetic to illegal immigration. I know that Terry Gorman of RIILE didn’t stand a snowball’s chance of being invited, but there wasn’t at least one person with perhaps a different view than the majority of the panel that could have been added? Were 4:1 odds too much? This sounds more like a pep rally than an actual examination of all sides of the issue.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

Prof.Schiller ran a fair debate on immigration last year at Brown.I attended and participated from the audience.
I thought about going to this but figured I wasn’t in the mood to watch a rigged game.Guess I was right.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

Is Dr.Hu-Duhart retarded?”Alien” is a legal term defined in Title 8 of the US Code.It also is mentioned in the US Constitution.
Too bad the snacks(if any)didn’t contain Norovirus.It would shut the bastards up for about a week.
THEY are planting the seeds of ethnic/racial divisivness.And Gump Chafee also.
Just once,I’d like one of these one world c*cksuckers to get T-boned at an intersection by a drunk illegal alien who has been released a few times.
I’m really disgusted by what passes for academics-lying turds.

13 years ago

“Is Dr.Hu-Duhart retarded?”Alien” is a legal term defined in Title 8 of the US Code.It also is mentioned in the US Constitution.”
So? She’s questioning whether it should be used anywhere, in the law or elsewhere. I don’t see a problem with her questioning it. Kinda like how people thought the words “retard” and “retarded” got bastardized into condescending or even insulting terms, even though if you look at the meaning, they may be accurate. Heck, it’s similar to organizations like the NAACP and the UNCF. But if I try to refer to someone with the CP in the first term or the N in the second term, I’d probably get punched in the face. Some terms are fine at a time, but then the subtle meanings change.
I’m not saying that she’s right, but it’s just her opinion.

13 years ago

In the article, Tobin also said:
“The phenomenon of immigration should be “welcomed and embraced, not feared or rejected,””
Wait, who is fearing or rejecting immigration? I have not seen one person opposed to immigration. So why’s he lying like this? I thought God wasn’t so fond of lying.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
13 years ago

Patrick-the words you refer to have and have had a loded racial context-“alien” doesn’t,so she really is stupid(is that better?).

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.