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Thursday, November 4 2021

9 AM - 11:45 AM
Thursday, Nov 4, 2021 9 a.m.
Center for the …

Immigration remains one of the most contentious policy issues in America. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that the current immigration system is broken, but do not agree on how to fix it legislatively. Since 1996, various attempts to pass major reform have stalled due to the increasing polarization over the issue. Congress can no longer avoid the problem, however. The next decade will mark major demographic turning points for the United States, and the progressive implementation of legal immigration channels that meets the needs of the U.S. economy will be necessary. Part of the solution will involve dealing with the status of the 10.5 million undocumented people already in the United States — many for decades.

At this virtual conference, which featured a keynote address from Fort Bend County Judge KP George, experts discussed the challenges faced by the undocumented immigrant population residing in the U.S. and the alternatives available to policymakers to provide practical solutions that benefit the country and the U.S. economy. Both panel sessions were followed by a moderated Q&A.

This event was co-sponsored by the Baker Institute Center for the United States and Mexico, Center for Houston’s Future Inc. and the George W. Bush Institute. Follow @BakerCtrUSMEX on Twitter, and join the conversation with #BakerMexico.




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9:00 a.m.



Welcome Remarks and Introduction

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

9:05 a.m.



Keynote Address: The Need for Immigration Reform

The Honorable KP George
Fort Bend County Judge

Moderated by: Tony Payan, Ph.D., Baker Institute

9:45 a.m.



Panel I: Politics, Immigration Policy and the Biden Administration

Moderated by: Brett Perlman, CEO, Center for Houston's Future Inc.

David J. Bier
Research Fellow, Cato Institute

Jeremy Robbins
Executive Director, New American Economy

Todd Schulte
President and Executive Director,

Madeline Zavodny, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Economics & Geography, University of North Florida

10:45 a.m.



Panel II: Practical Solutions for the Undocumented Immigrant Population Residing in the United States

Moderated by: Laura Collins, Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative, Bush Institute

Laurence Benenson
Vice President of Policy & Advocacy, National Immigration Forum

Theresa Cardinal Brown
Managing Director, Immigration and Cross-Border Policy, Bipartisan Policy Center

Julia Gelatt, Ph.D.
Senior Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Institute

Jose Ivan Rodriguez-Sanchez, Ph.D.
Research Scholar, Center for the United States and Mexico, Baker Institute

11:45 a.m.


Closing Remarks

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