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USF to Host Panel on Immigration




The University of San Francisco (USF) is partnering with the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) to host a panel discussion on US immigration history, policy and civil society.


The discussion, “US Immigration Law and Civil Society: The Road to Executive Action and Beyond,” will feature leading scholars and practitioners in the field. Organized by USF’s Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought and CMS, the event is free and open to the public. It will take place at the McLaren Conference Center on USF’s main campus (2130 Fulton St.), March 24, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The event will explore executive action and other recent developments in the immigration world in relation to a new book, International Migration, US Immigration Law and Civil Society: From the Colonial Era to the 113th Congress.


Published by the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) in collaboration with CMS, the book analyzes the themes, trends and challenges that have driven US immigration law and policy through history.

The panel discussion will discuss the evolution of US immigration law and policy and the use of executive action; the growing influence of civil society in the US immigration debate and in immigrant communities, particularly in securing and implementing the new Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs; and, Immigration scholarship and initiatives taking place at USF, including the Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Assistance Project in which USF Law School students are providing legal assistance to unaccompanied minors as they navigate the US immigration system.


Sara Campos

Sara Campos

The panel discussion will feature two of the book’s contributors: Sara Campos, immigration attorney, writer and consultant; and Charles Wheeler, senior attorney and director of training and legal support for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), as well as USF Professor of Law Bill Ong Hing. USF Professor of Social Ethics Lois Lorentzen will moderate the panel, with introductory remarks offered by Fr. Leonir Chiarello, C.S., executive director of SIMN.

The book, co-edited by Fr. Leonir Chiarello and CMS Executive Director Donald Kerwin, is the tenth in a series on international migration to and within the Americas.


The series seeks to improve migration governance in the Americas by educating policymakers and the public on the benefits, trade-offs and human dimensions of migration.


“This volume analyzes the long history of migration to the territory that now constitutes the United States, the shorter history of US immigration law and policy, and the growing influence of civil society in the immigration debate in recent decades,” said Kerwin.


“The book highlights both the need to regularly assess and revisit US immigration laws and the difficulty in legislating in this area, as illustrated by the current impasse in Congress over immigration reform and the battle between Congress and President over executive action, despite outdated laws that have not been substantially revised since 1990 or overhauled since 1965,” he said.

“This event will spotlight the incredible work and scholarship being done to assist one of the most marginalized groups in our society today,” said Michael Duffy, director of USF’s Lane Center. “Our hope is that attendees will walk away with a deeper understanding of the historical, legal, and cultural aspects of immigration reform, and why immigrant rights are vital to creating a just and fair society.”

The book will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Parking for attendees will be available at the USF Koret Recreational Center parking structure located at the corner of Turk Street and Parker Avenue in San Francisco.

Live stream of the event will be available at the following link:

For further information or accommodations, please contact Michael Duffy at USF’s Lane Center (415) 422-5200 or




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