Immigration policy discussed at roundtable

Immigration policy discussed at roundtable

September 17, 2020 fsnqaknv 0

first_imgThe politics behind immigration reform and California’s changing demographics dominated the discussion over immigration policy at Wednesday’s California Policy Roundtable, which centered around the importance of immigration in the upcoming presidential election, as well as the role that California has in shaping national policy.The event featured two Los Angeles Times reporters — Seema Mehta, a senior political reporter covering the 2016 presidential campaign, and Kate Linthicum, an immigration and politics reporter — and was hosted by the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.After a brief introduction from Unruh Institute Director Dan Schnur, moderators Kyla Middleton, director of political content for the Political Student Assembly, and Cindy Pineda, director of civic engagement for the Latina/o Student Assembly, took turns asking questions of the guest speakers before opening the discussion to questions from the students. The moderators focused on asking questions that would portray all sides of the immigration debate rather than aligning with a particular political party, Schnur said.“It’s very important to listen to people with whom you don’t always agree,” Schnur said. “With these programs, we try to bring in a wide range of voices, not for a debate, but simply to give students a chance to hear from people who might have a different opinion than they do.”Pineda, a junior majoring in health promotion and disease prevention, framed the discussion by portraying immigration as a multifaceted issue, one that is relevant to students as well as the larger community of Los Angeles and the nation as a whole.“The availability of healthcare for undocumented immigrants and the intricacies of border security have continuously permeated the discussion,” Pineda said. “As a child of immigrant parents, I recognize the complexities that surround immigration are intersectional, and one solution is not viable to solve all the challenges that exist.”Major issues brought up during the discussion involved each political party’s position toward immigration and, specifically, the difference between documented and undocumented immigration. Mehta pointed out that in an attempt to align themselves with voters who fear immigrants, many Republican candidates have become increasingly anti-immigrant; others, such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, have attempted to appeal to Latino voters by adopting more moderate policies.“This time around we have candidates talking about how a lot of [immigration policy] is family-based — your siblings, your parents — and whether we should shift that to more skills-based,” Mehta said. “There’s been more of a discussion about the legal side this time around than I’ve seen in years past.”The issues around immigration policy and reform are especially prevalent in Los Angeles, where 3.5 million immigrants comprise 37 percent of the city’s overall population, according to data from a USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences study done by the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.“L.A. is incredibly diverse and incredibly immigrant compared to other parts of the country, where it’s more of an abstract conversation,” Linthicum said. “Here in L.A., it’s a very crucial question, because 1 in 10 residents of L.A. County doesn’t have legal documentation. As the debate continues to rage on the national level and be unresolved and unanswered, a lot of cities and states are stepping up to either make life easier for immigrants or to make life harder.”Ultimately, Middleton and others hope that attending events such as the California Roundtable will help students be more informed, no matter which side of the debate they end up supporting.“These events are for all USC students to come out and understand why politics are important and the effects that it’s currently having,” Middleton said. “Since we’re all living here, it’s important to be aware of not only the debate, but of certain policy that can affect all of us.”last_img

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *