Immigration: When Something So Personal Depends on Policymakers

Host Organization: Philanthropy New York


Immigration can provoke passionate discussion and debate, especially in this political climate. The decision to leave one’s home country and take a risk on another is a highly personal and difficult decision. Yet, the majority of Americans can trace their roots to an immigrant—from Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and other continents—who took that plunge to make a better life for themselves and future generations. That emotional decision, depending on when they came, often was the result of the vagaries of U.S. immigration and refugee policies. And that is true whether the immigrant came through legal channels or by over-staying their visa.

Come join two authors of recent books that focus on both the personal journey of an immigrant family (New York Times’ reporter, Jason DeParle, A Good Provider is One Who Leaves) and of a policy wonk who tells the history of the last time comprehensive immigration reform passed into law (Senior Cabinet Adviser for UnidosUS, Charles Kamasaki, Immigration Reform: The Corpse that Will Not Die).


  • The connection between the personal journeys of immigrants, public policy impacts, and the public
  • The history of and updates from the immigration reform movement
  • The road to making better policy at all levels, which takes long-term investments, patience, and the ability to change hearts and minds of the public


  • Jason DeParle, Author, A Good Provider is One Who Leaves
    Charles Kamasaki, Author, Immigration Reform: The Corpse that Will Not Die
    Cecilia Munoz, Vice President for Public Interest Technology and Local Initiatives, New America
    Geri Mannion (Moderator), Program Director, US Democracy & Special Operations Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York
    *Copies and book signings will be made available at the program.  First come, first served.

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