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C of I faculty to host forum on immigration and identity

With immigration remaining a hot topic in political discourse, particularly after the Trump administration’s rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy in September 2017, The College of Idaho will host a forum on “Immigration and Identity” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24 in the Langroise Recital Hall.

The forum is a collaboration between the College’s political economy, history and anthropology/sociology departments, as well as the College’s International Student Organization. Presenters from each of the represented departments will be on hand to examine the past, present and future of immigration from their expert perspectives, answering questions from both the event’s moderators and from the audience.

Presenters include Professor of Political Economy Kerry Hunter, Professor of History and department chair Mee-Ae Kim, Assistant Professor of Sociology Scott Draper, and ISO President Irvin Brown. Moderators for the event include Paul Bennion, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and David Douglass, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty.

Shortly after the Trump administration rescinded support of DACA, the C of I Administration issued a statement of support on behalf of the College for the children of immigrants affected by the loss of DACA’s benefits: “In keeping with our educational mission, The College of Idaho is supportive of these young people and their goal to continue their lives in the United States. The College also supports a continued national dialog that will result in compassionate and viable long-term immigration reform.”

Bennion said this month’s forum will seek to continue the dialogue the statement started in a way that increases understanding of the broader issues related to immigration, with each panelist bringing their perspectives through the lens of identity.

“Our goal for the event is that those who attend can apply a constitutional, sociological, historical, and experiential perspective to their current understanding and opinions of immigration,” Bennion said.

Kim said she is looking forward to a generative discussion to come from the event, one that will encourage a broader discussion about immigration that will not only contextualize the DACA decision, but engage in immigration’s larger social, legal and historical questions.

“The goal is not to provide ‘answers,’ but to raise questions that will hopefully foster constructive and productive discussions and debates,” Kim said.

The event is free to attend and is open to the community. Refreshments will be served following the conclusion of the panel.

The College of Idaho has a 125-year-old legacy of excellence. The C of I is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, four NFL players and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit