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Luncheon Keynote Addresses

Friday, April 27, 12:15 p.m.
U.S. Immigration Policy in the Era of Mobility 

Demetrios Papademetriou is the President of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a Washington-based think tank dedicated exclusively to the study of international migration.  His most recent books include Immigration and America’s Future: A New Chapter (2006, co-author), Europe and its Immigrants in the 21st Century: A New Deal or a Continuing Dialogue of the Deaf? (2006, editor, author and co-author) and Secure Borders, Open Doors: Visa Procedures in the Post-September 11 Era (2005, co-author).

Saturday, April 28, 11:50 a.m.
No Margin for Error: Determinants of Achievement Among Disadvantaged Children of Immigrants  

Alejandro Portes is the Director of the Center for Migration and Development and Professor of Sociology, Princeton University.  He has numerous recent books and hundreds of articles published by prestigious presses and journals.  Among his most recent publications are Immigrant America (2006) and Legacies (2001) and recent article, “La nueva nación latina: inmigración y la población hispana de los Estados Unidos” from the Revista Española de Investigaciones Sociológicas (Oct.-Dec. 2006).


Plenary Sessions

Friday, April 27, 8:45 a.m
Opening Plenary: The Failure of Global Development and the Latin American Diaspora

The plenary opens our eyes to the hidden relationships between world economic policies and migration – both their failures and their successes.  The participants will help us gain a better understanding of how the social conditions and development strategies that produce out-migration from Mexico or Colombia are not so different from those emptying out rural Nebraska. Those strategies, and their unanticipated consequences, also generate migration ties between displaced populations from Latin America and aging and depopulated towns in Nebraska or in Spain. To discover these shared realities is to open a “Pandora’s Box,” but that discovery also is a way out of the current impasse in the migration debate and, hopefully, out of the self-destructive manner in which the debate is often framed.


delgado wise

Raúl Delgado Wise, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas and Executive Director of the Red Internacional de Migración y Desarrollo, México.  He has authored several major books and co-edited the book Nuevas tendencias y desafíos de la migración internacional México-Estados Unidos (2004).His most recent article, “Migration and Imperialism: The Mexican Workforce in the Context of NAFTA,” was published in Latin American Perspectives (2006).


Luis Guarnizo, University of California Davis and Visiting Professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas.  He recently authored the article, “El estado y la migración global colombiana” in the journal, Migración y Desarrollo (Número 6, 2006) as well as “The Economics of Transnational Living,” International Migration Review (vol. 3, 2003).


Chuck Hassebrook, Center for Rural Affairs and the University of Nebraska Board of Regents, has authored numerous reports including Strategies to Revitalize Rural America (Nov. 2003) for the Center for Rural Affairs.


Friday, April 27, 2:35 p.m.
Immigration Policies, Latino Political Mobilization, and Democracy in Immigrant America

This plenary session will examine the vexing issue of the impact of government policies on the immigrant communities, specifically looking at the manner in which these policies are applied in different settings. The panelists will examine how these policies shape the extent to which immigrant communities have access to and are impacted by the political system and the resulting policies, including: an assessment of how national policies impact immigrant communities when applied in local settings; the extent to which there can be legitimate political incorporation in the absence of policy reform; and the precariousness of legal status and its connection to excluding rather than incorporating immigrant communities. All told, the plenary session seeks to consider opportunities for developing presence and voice in critical matters of importance, including political participation, issue articulation and the representation of immigrants in new destinations.


Karthick Ramakrishnan, University of California, Davis and author of Transforming Politics, Transforming America (2006) and Democracy in Immigrant America (2005).


Luin Goldring, York University, Canada, is a member of the Executive Council of the La Red Internacional de Migración y Desarrollo.  Her most recent article “La Voz de los Actores: Remesas y Microbancos” was published the journal, Migración y Desarrollo (Número 3, 2004).


Helen Marrow, Harvard
University and co-editor
of The New Americans (2007).

Saturday, April 28, 8:30 a.m.
Religion and Immigrant America

New immigrant waves bring more than high levels of energy and economic aspirations to the places where immigrants settle. Yesterday they brought European languages and peasant rituals to religious services; today, they bring Spanish and marimbas to what were often dying churches in communities of immigrant settlement. Conversely, membership in religious congregations, especially in the immigrants’ native language, is where much of the initial acculturation process and adaptation to a new society takes place. Identities of old-timers and newcomers are sustained and transformed through their participation in religious rituals. Conflicts and xenophobia also emerge and their resolution often depends on the strength with which constitutional guarantees are enforced. The impact of these changes within and beyond religious institutions has become a topic of serious study in the last decade. The presenters of this plenary help us understand the nexus between religion and migration. Nebraska participants further help understand these trends with fascinating examples from “the ground.”


Peggy Levitt, Wellesley College and Harvard University author of God Needs No Passport (2007)andThe Changing Face of Home (edited with Mary Waters) which was published by Russell Sage in 2002.  


Gabriel Escobar, Pew
Hispanic Center and author of numerous Pew Hispanic Center reports including, 2006 National Survey of Latinos: The Immigration Debate.


Round Tables

Saturday, April 28, 1:45 p.m.
Round Table 1:  Learning to Teach in the Changing Communities of the Americas

The Midwest is experiencing a demographic change in its student population as immigrants and refugees come to both urban and rural settings. The demographics of the teaching force, however, are not changing very quickly, so the reality is that monolingual, white non-Hispanic teachers continue to lead most classrooms and thus guide the learning of most immigrant students. Preparing teachers to meet the demands of a changing population is the focus of this roundtable. Presenters will focus on teacher preparation, career ladder opportunities and immigrant educators employed as paraprofessionals who serve as vital resources in the schools. These three presentations illustrate how schools serve as the critical integration sites for all immigrant students and how important it is to tap into the knowledge and expertise of educators who are currently successful with culturally and linguistically diverse learners. In order for immigrant students to know they are capable of accomplishing great things in the Midwest, the roundtable focuses on newcomer stories and programs that prepare teachers and pre-service teachers to guide immigrant students to do just that.

Rochelle L. Dalla and
Catherine Huddleston-Casas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Evangelina Brignoni, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Jenelle Reeves and Edmund Hamann, University of Nebraska- Lincoln


Saturday, April 28, 1:45 p.m.
Roundtable 2:  Integration in America’s Communities: Inclusion, Exclusion, and Neglect

Managing the challenges of migration by fostering a positive climate, immigrant integration is the theme of this roundtable.  Presenters bring their experiences from the local communities where the work of integration most directly falls. School officials speak to the challenges of incorporating large numbers of English-language learners into their schools. Employers, Chamber of Commerce and local government representatives speak to the incorporation of immigrant workers and entrepreneurs into their economies and businesses. Advocates speak about the roadblocks immigrants confront in their path to integration.

Margie McHugh, Co-Director, National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, Migration Policy Institute;

Steve Joel, Superintendent, Grand Island Public Schools;

Gloria Sarmiento and
Darcy Tromanhauser,Nebraska Appleseed for Law and the Public Interest

Marta Sonia Londoño, Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Student Research Breakfast

Saturday, April 28, 7:00 a.m.

This special breakfast is organized to give Nebraska students the opportunity to share their research related to conference themes and to interact with renowned sociologist Rogelio Saenz, Texas A&M University, as well as other scholars and students in attendance. Saenz’s article “Latinos and the Changing Face of America” was published in The American People: Census 2000 (2005 Russell Sage Foundation).

Special Session

Saturday, April 28, 3:30 p.m.
Neither Enemies Nor Friends: Latinos, Blacks, Afro-Latinos
A Conversation with the Authors

The presentation begins with an analysis and reconsideration of the intellectual journey which culminated in the production of Neither Enemies Nor Friends: Latinos, Blacks, Afro Latinos. What had begun as a brief discussion on the intersections of race, ethnicity and nationality in the Americas inexorably led us to the exploration of specific national historical encounters with blackness and the apparent difficulties in confronting both its obvious and more subtle consequences.  Our aim is to engage everyone in a dialogue about the ways that the specific meaning(s) attributed to race and blackness in various national contexts in Latin America, impact on both, the experiences of Latino/as, as well as on Black-Latino relations in the United States.


Suzanne Oboler, University of Illinois-Chicago and editor of Latinos and Citizenship:  The Dilemma of Belonging (2006) andco-author of Neither Enemies Nor Friends:  Latinos, Blacks, Afro Latinos (2005).


Anani Dzidzienyo, Brown University and co-author of Neither Enemies Nor Friends:  Latinos, Blacks, Afro Latinos (2005)


Working Brunch

Sunday, April 29, 2007
Forging a New Research Agenda: Policy Considerations and New Destinations

This is the final opportunity for those staying over Saturday night to brainstorm about opportunities for collaborative and comparative projects and assess the methodologies and frameworks that are needed to engage in new lines of community-based and policy-focused research.



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Please address questions to Ms. Barb Ihle, Conference Coordinator at Call: 402-554-3835