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Immigration detention to be topic of two-day conference at Loyola

September 30, 2011

Loyola University New Orleans’ Jesuit Social Research Institute, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice in the College of Law will come together for an event that will examine the realities of immigration detention in the southern United States.

The two-day conference, “Imprisoned, Forgotten and Deported: Immigration Detention, Advocacy and the Faith Community,” will be held Oct. 13-14 at the College of Law, 526 Pine Street, Room 308. It is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Deadline for registration is Monday, Oct. 10.

The conference is jointly co-sponsored by both the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies and the Initiative for Immigration, Religion and Social Change, as well as the Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University. The Ford Foundation is providing major funding for the event.

Award-winning NPR investigative reporter Laura Sullivan and Iliff School of Theology social ethics professor Miguel De La Torre will serve as keynote speakers for the conference. In 2010, Sullivan’s story about the economics behind Arizona’s controversial illegal immigration law shed light on how private prison companies were pushing for the passage of the bill by financially supporting the campaigns of certain members of the Arizona legislature.

Topics will include:

  • The Reality of Immigration Detention: Economics and Politics
  • Race, Illegality and the Prison Industrial Complex
  • Framing Detention Theologically
  • Faith Community Responses to Detention
  • Advocacy Strategies
  • Changing the Conversation in the Public Square

The conference organizers are convening a diverse group of policy and opinion makers, graduate and undergraduate students, lawyers, members of faith communities, activists, leaders in the local African-American and Latino communities, as well as scholars of immigration and religion.

Other featured speakers will include:

  • Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America’s Voice
  • Don Kerwin, executive director for the Center for Migration Studies
  • Andrea Black, executive director for Detention Watch Network
  • Dr. Dora Schriro, commissioner for the New York Department of Correction

For more information, contact Christi Schott at cmschott@loyno.edu or 504-864-7746.

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