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2015 Annual Latino Public Affairs Forum: Immigration Reform

WHO: Immigration reform experts: academics, political analysts, and stakeholders.

WHAT: American University Annual Latino Public Affairs Forum: Prospects & Implications of Immigration Reform Policies 2015 - 2016 

WHEN: January 15, 2015, 9 a.m. –3:00 p.m. 

WHERE:  American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016, Abramson Family Founders Room (Located in School of International Service Building intersection of Nebraska and New Mexico Aves., NW) 

Contact: Media should RSVP no later than January 14 at 4 p.m. to J. Paul Johnson, American University Communications via telephone at 202-885-5943 or via e-mail at

BACKGROUND: More than 53 million people—17 percent of the U.S. population-- identify as Latino. Their influence upon the direction of national politics, culture, economic trends, and a broad range of other issues, will only increase. American University's Center for Latin American & Latino Studies Annual Latino Public Affairs Forum (ALPAF) seeks to convene academics, community advocates, policy experts, journalists, students, and other stakeholders, to address key questions and topics of concern for Latinos.  

The inaugural forum will consider the prospects and possibilities for immigration policy during the last two years of the Obama administration. Given that no public affairs issue seems more directly relevant to Latinos at present, or is as likely to be shaped by Latino constituencies and by officials' efforts to grapple with their growing influence in American society, immigration seems a fitting topic for the initial forum. For further event details see the agenda below.

Panel 1: Academic Perspectives, 9:30 a.m. -11:00 a.m.

Matthew Wright, American University

Michele Waslin, The Pew Charitable Trusts

Janelle Wong, University of Maryland

Ali Valenzuela, Princeton University 

Eric Hershberg, American University (Moderator)

Panel 2: Conversation with Political Analysts, 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Vanessa Cárdenas, Center for American Progress

Cristóbal Alex, Latino Victory Project

Ted Hesson, Fusion (Moderator)

Keynote Luncheon Butler Board Room, 12:15 p.m. –1:30 p.m.

Jayesh Rathod, American University

Panel 3: Stakeholder Perspectives, 1:30 p.m. -3:00 p.m.

Gregory Chen, American Immigration Lawyers Association

Andrea Zuniga, AFL-CIO

Jeanne Atkinson, Catholic Legal Immigration Network

Wendy Cervantes, First Focus 

Audrey Singer, Brookings Institution (Moderator)

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.