Thu, May 30, 2024
8 am - 10:30 am
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago


James A. Baker III Hall

To complement its native workforce, the United States relies on millions of migrants: naturalized citizens, legal permanent residents, and temporary authorized residents, along with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and temporary protected status (TPS) recipients, visa holders, and undocumented laborers. Without these immigrants’ labor, many sectors of the U.S. economy would halt, especially as employers struggle to fill over 8.8 million open jobs and consumers continue to deal with high prices partially due to a lack of available workers.

Despite the evidence of immigrants’ important economic and cultural contributions and the demographic strengths they bring to American society, the issue of authorizing migrant employment remains controversial in the political theater. This question of labor authorization greatly affects the most vulnerable group of migrants — undocumented workers — 1.1 million of whom are married to U.S. citizens and have U.S. citizen children. Polling shows significant public support for providing this population with work authorization. Thus, despite the political controversy, it is time to push for a visa path for this population — a DACA style program, if Congress does not act. 

At this event, a panel of experts will explore opportunities to expand work authorization for immigrant spouses and parents of U.S. citizens and potential impacts on Houston’s growing economy.

This event is co-sponsored by the Baker Institute Center for the U.S. and Mexico and the American Business Immigration Coalition, and supported by the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

This event is free and open to the public. 

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This event is free, but registration is required. Click below to attend in person or to receive the link to the livestream. 


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8:00 am     

Breakfast and Registration

8:30 am

Welcome Remarks

Jose Ivan Rodriguez-Sanchez, Ph.D. 
Research Scholar, Center for the U.S. and Mexico, Baker Institute for Public Policy

8:40 am

Keynote Presentation: Expanding Opportunities and Addressing the U.S. Labor Shortage

Commissioner Adrian Garcia 
Harris County Precinct 2

8:50 am 

Panel Conversation

Moderated by: Juan Carlos Cerda, Director, Texas Chapter, American Business Immigration Coalition

Jorge Avila    
Member, American Families United

Yolanda Batz   
Student, University of Houston

Chris McCarthy   
Chief of Staff, Office of Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia

Rachel Magaziner   
Associate, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C.

Laura Murillo    
President and CEO, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce   

9:50 am 

Q&A Session

10:20 am

Closing Remarks

The Honorable Molly Cook 
Texas State Senate District 15


Thu, May 30, 2024
8 am - 10:30 am
(GMT-05:00) America/Chicago


James A. Baker III Hall