Several Merced organizations are holding an immigration forum this month to provide information for the community, to dispel misinformation of the complex issues of immigration and to seek humane solutions.
"Tearing Down the Walls of Ignorance" will be held on April 28 in Wesley Hall of the United Methodist Church of Merced, 899 Yosemite Parkway. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the event begins at 9 a.m. It is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.
After introductions, UC Merced history Professor Mario Sifuentez will present a brief history of immigration. Writer and photojournalist David Bacon, author of “Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants," will discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
The program will include a showing of “Lost in Detention: President Obama’s Tough Immigration Enforcement,” a 53-minute PBS documentary by investigative reporter Maria Hinojosa. Aarti Kohli, director of Immigration Policy and Legislative Council at UC Berkeley's School of Law, will present information about the federal government's Secure Communities Program (S-Com), which has been highly criticized by some.
During the afternoon session, Kiran Savage-Sangwan with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, will talk about the new California Dream Act. Since 2001 similar bills have been introduced at the federal level but never passed. Differences of the federal bills and the state law will be discussed, and there will be testimonials by members of the public.
Throughout the day there will be ample opportunities for questions and answers as well as discussion of next steps.
The forum will include music by DJ Pscensor and performances by spoken word artists and poets Ismael Lara and Vio Stanley.
The forum is sponsored by the California Central Valley Journey for Justice, Associated Students of UC Merced, UC Merced Office of Student Affairs, Unitarian Universalists of Merced, Social Action Team of the United Methodist Church, MEChA de UC Merced, Healthy House Within a MATCH Coalition and ACLU of Northern California.
For more information, contact Gloria Sandoval at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209-631-9696. Visit California Central Valley for Justice on Facebook.
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