2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Although the Catholic Church has welcomed newcomers since the very founding of our nation, since 1965 alone MRS has assisted over 1 million refugees to begin new lives in the United States through its nationwide network of affiliated partner agencies.  In more recent years, MRS has greatly expanded its service network to respond to the plight of thousands of unaccompanied children and victims of human trafficking.  MRS has also been a leading advocate for fair and just policies, both nationally and internationally, that serve to protect and uphold the fundamental rights of migrants, immigrants, refugees, human trafficking victims, and other vulnerable persons on the move.  

Please join  us on November 19th, to help Migration and Refugee Services celebrate our 50th Anniversary!
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Thursday, November 19 • 11:30am - 1:00pm
Contemporary Issues in Immigration

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While legislative and executive efforts towards comprehensive immigration reform have been stymied over the last few years, immigration detention has become the fasting growing incarceration system in the United States with nearly a half million people detained and incarcerated annually.  A new report by USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services and the Center for Migration Studies argues that the goals of immigration detention can be accomplished more humanely and at far less cost through a national infrastructure of community-based, supervised release programs.  This panel will explore the current state of efforts towards comprehensive immigration reform and immigration enforcement and detention in the United States.  It will highlight the Church’s position on the inherent issues, and consider varying government and policy perspectives on the issues.  Furthermore, the panel will address ways the Church and its agencies and partners might collaborate in advocacy and service efforts relative to providing alternatives to detention.   

avatar for Don Kerwin

Don Kerwin

Executive Director, Center for Migration Studies
Donald M. Kerwin, Jr. has directed the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) since September 2011.  He previously worked for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) between 1992 and 2008, serving as its Executive Director (ED) for 15 years and its interim ED... Read More →
avatar for Janet Murguia

Janet Murguia

CEO and President, National Council of La Raza
Janet Murguia is currently the CEO and President of the National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino civil rights organization in the United States.  NCLR partners with Affiliates across the country to serve millions of Latinos in the areas of civic engagement, civil rights and... Read More →
avatar for Esther Olavarria

Esther Olavarria

Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Esther Olavarria is a top legal adviser to Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson.  Prior to assuming her role at DHS, Secretary Olavarria was the Director of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress.  For ten... Read More →
avatar for Frank Sharry

Frank Sharry

Executive Director and Founder, America's Voice
Frank Sharry is Founder and Executive Director of America’s Voice. With the support of allies in the immigration reform community, he created the new organization in early 2008 to focus on communications and media as part of a renewed effort to win comprehensive immigration reform... Read More →

Thursday November 19, 2015 11:30am - 1:00pm EST
Grand Ballroom North Central