'A Round Table on Deportations and National Security' to be held

March 14, 2011, 10:27 a.m.

Princeton, N.J. — The Princeton Program in Latin American Studies in collaboration with the Center for Migration and Development, the Program in Latino Studies, and the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund will host "A Round Table on Deportations and National Security" on Monday, March 28, from 3 to 6 p.m., at the Friend Center convocation room.  The event is intended to draw attention to timely and seldom addressed issues of the highest public interest. Julia Preston, Pulitzer Prize winner and national immigration correspondent for The New York Times, will preside. The conference is free and open to the public.

Deportations from the United States have soared, with nearly 400,000 individuals removed from American soil in 2010—a record since the Department of Homeland Security was formed eight years ago.  Since 2007, more than 1.3 million people have been deported, including convicted criminals but also many workers with no criminal records. What are the implications of intensified deportation measures for those implementing them and for those affected by them?  What is the impact of including immigration policy under the country’s national security framework? These are the central questions to be addressed by the event.

[Media interested in attending the round table must contact Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, a senior lecturer in sociology and acting director of the Program in Latino Studies, by emailing mpfk@princeton.edu no later than 5 p.m. March 25.]

The 9/11 attack on New York and Washington brought about the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security and the incorporation of immigration and naturalization services under its purview. Is the nation’s security best served by bringing illegal immigrants out of the shadows, or by deporting them? In a political climate where comprehensive immigration reform has not been accomplished and anti-immigrant feelings are growing, the present situation poses problems both to those charged with implementing deportation policies and to immigrant communities feeling their impact. 

The event is envisioned as a gathering of academics, practitioners, public officials and representatives of service and advocacy organizations to discuss issues of shared concern. The objective is to foster dialogue and mutual understanding in an atmosphere of civility, not confrontation. Experts participating in the event will address the problems and risks faced by personnel in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), as well as the difficulties confronted by families experiencing deportations.

In addition to Preston, other principal speakers will include Alejandro Portes, director of the Center for Migration and Development; Douglas Massey, the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School; Ted Alden, the Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and author of "The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration and Security Since 9/11;" Amy Gottlieb, the American Friends Service Committee's director of the Immigrant Rights Program in Newark; Stacy Mann, the director of the Program on Immigration and Democracy at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University; and invited representatives from the Department of Homeland Security.

This event is co-sponsored by the Program in Law and Public Affairs, the Program in Latin American Studies, the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies and the University Center for Human Values.

For information regarding this event, please contact Patricia Fernandez-Kelly at mpfk@princeton.edu or by calling 609-258-2237.