University at Albany

Rockefeller Researchers Organize Workshop on Immigration Policy Reform for US and Mexican Officials

Contact: Mary Hunt (518) 442-5264

Albany N.Y. (November 23, 2011) -- Rockefeller College Political Science Professors Rey Koslowski and Laura Valeria González-Murphy recently organized and facilitated a two-day series of immigration policy reform workshops in Washington, DC.

Rey Koslowski, PhD

On Monday, October 31, Koslowski and González-Murphy welcomed US and Mexican officials and policymakers to the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars for a wide-ranging discussion of the two countries' immigration reform efforts.  The objective of the workshop, explained Koslowski, was "to compare and contrast US and Mexican immigration policymaking, and consider immigration reform in each country within broader comparative perspectives of other nations' immigration policymaking experiences."

Among the distinguished officials taking part in the workshop were White House Senior Policy Advisor Felicia Escobar; Lic. Salvador Francisco Beltrán del Río, commissioner of the National Migration Institute (INM), Mexico; Alejandro Mayorkas, director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Department of Homeland Security; Kelly Ryan, acting deputy assistant secretary, Office of Immigration and Border Security, Department of Homeland Security; and Mexican Senators Carlos Jiménez Macías, Humberto Andrade de Quezada, and Rubén Velázquez López.

Laura Valeria
González-Murphy, PhD

A second workshop, designed for journalists, was held on Tuesday, November 1 at the German Marshall Fund.  Professor Koslowski and journalist Jeffrey Kaye co-led discussions about research findings and data related to immigration policy reform and immigration issues that have not received a great deal of attention in the media.   One session of the workshop also provided journalists an opportunity to interview policymakers attending the previous day's workshop.  Mexican senators announced that they would be traveling to several US states to speak with state legislators who are proposing restrictive immigration legislation similar to that passed in Arizona. 

The Washington workshops were part of an ambitious three-year research effort being undertaken by colleagues Koslowski and Gonzalez-Murphy. The project, titled The International Context of Immigration Reform: US, Mexico, and Beyond, is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

For more information about the immigration-related research being conducted by Rey Koslowski and Laura Valeria Gonzalez-Murphy: