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For Immediate Release

Jane Turnis
(719) 389-6138

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038


Immigration reform becoming major political issue

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – March. 6, 2006 – A Colorado College professor and the program coordinator of a Colorado Springs immigrant-services organization will discuss the causes, effects and issues surrounding immigration and immigration reform in an upcoming lecture.

Eric Popkin, associate professor of sociology and director of the Partnership for Civic Engagement at Colorado College, and Hector Suarez, program coordinator of the Pikes Peak Immigrant and Refugee Collaborative, will discuss immigration issues and immigration reform efforts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 14 in Colorado College’s Bemis Hall, 920 N. Cascade Ave.

Immigration reform is emerging as a hot political issue not only in Colorado, but nationwide.
Popkin and Suarez will discuss recent history of immigration legislation, focusing on failed border enforcement strategies; the factors that propel migration from Mexico and Central America with special attention given to trade agreements; demand for immigrant labor by U.S. businesses; the current process for immigrating legally into the U.S.; and current immigration reform legislation being considered in Colorado and nationally.

Suarez serves as program coordinator for the Pikes Peak Immigrant and Refugee Collaborative, a community organization with a staff of about 30 that seeks to better integrate immigrants into the community. Suarez graduated from Colorado College in 2004 with a degree in sociology.

Popkin teaches courses that focus on the sociology of international development, globalization, international migration (particularly Latino migration), Latin-American studies, and urban sociology. Several courses incorporate a community-based learning component involving internship placements in local organizations working with Latino immigrants or field trips to areas in the Southwest (including the U.S.-Mexican border region), Latin America, or the Caribbean region (particularly Cuba). Over the past several years, his research has focused on Central American transnational migration, specifically how immigrant organizations in Los Angeles interact with their countries of origin and the extent to which this interaction contributes to their adaptation process in the U.S. Much of Popkin’s research involves qualitative fieldwork in Central America.

The event is free and open to the public. For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts and sciences college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 1,960 students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week blocks. For more information, visit www.ColoradoCollege.edu <http://www.ColoradoCollege.edu>.