Thu, Mar. 07, 2019
8 am - 2:45 pm
(GMT-06:00) America/Chicago


James A. Baker III Hall

As a border state with a large and growing immigrant population, Texas is disproportionately affected by federal immigration policies and is ground zero for the national immigration debate. The Houston region, home to 1.6 million immigrants, is key to understanding the importance of immigrants to local economic growth and community stability.

At this conference, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and representatives from local and national organizations addressed how Houston can take a lead role in the immigration discussion. The event also included a panel of experts who shared current research and data on immigration in the Greater Houston region; breakout sessions on addressing workforce, policy and social support issues; and a screening of a short film from the “Rational Middle of Immigration” series.

This event was co-sponsored by the Baker Institute Mexico Center, New American Economy and the Center for Houston’s Future. Additional assistance is provided from The Rational Middle, the Anti-Defamation League, Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Immigration Forum and the City of Houston's Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities.

Follow @BakerInstitute on Twitter and join the conversation online with #BakerMexico.

View video of the event below:  

To view the entire conference, please click below:

Welcome and Keynote
Panel Discussion
Armchair Discussion







8:00 am



Breakfast and Registration

8:30 am



Welcome and Introduction

Tony Payan, Ph.D.
Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and
Director, Mexico Center, Baker Institute

8:45 am



Keynote Address — Houston: A City of Immigrants and Refugees

The Honorable Sylvester Turner
Mayor, City of Houston



Question and Answer Session

9:45 am




9:55 am



Introduction and Remarks — Rational Middle of Immigration Series

Stan Marek
President and CEO, Marek Companies

Gregory Kallenberg
Director and Producter, The Rational Middle

10:10 am



Film Screening — "Immigration's Crossroad: Rebuilding After Hurricane Harvey"

10:25 am


Panel — Houston and U.S. Immigration Research and Outlook

Introduction: Gregory Kallenberg, Director and Producer, The Rational Middle

Wafa Abdin
Executive Director, Houston Volunteer Lawyers

Tony Payan, Ph.D.
Director, Mexico Center, Baker Institute

Brett Perlman
President and CEO, Center for Houston's Future

Jeremy Robbins
Executive Director, New American Economy

Moderated by Jay Root, Senior Investigative Reporter, The Texas Tribune



Question and Answer Session




Luncheon Armchair Discussion — Value of Immigrants and Immigration

The Honorable Lina Hidalgo
Harris County Judge

Kate Vickery
Executive Director, Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative

12:45 pm



Breakout Sessions: Cross-Sector Needs

Immigration and Houston's Workforce
Moderator: Jennie Murray, Director, Integration Programs, National Immigration Forum

Policy and Legislation: The Path Forward
Moderator: Chelsie Kramer, State Organizer, New American Economy

Critical Social Support Services
Moderator: Kate Vickery, Executive Director, Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative

1:50 p.m.


Breakout Session Reports

2:30 p.m.


Closing Remarks

Tony Payan, Ph.D.
Director, Mexico Center, Baker Institute

2:45 p.m.




Thu, Mar. 07, 2019
8 am - 2:45 pm
(GMT-06:00) America/Chicago


James A. Baker III Hall