“Understanding Immigration” will be held at Chalice Room
Join us for “Understanding Immigration: Where we are, how we got here, and the impact on Minnesota’s communities,” a presentation by Michele Garnett McKenzie, along with members of Sembrando Poder, on Thursday, Dec. 7.
We are living in a time when rhetoric and inflammatory speech are often substituted for facts when it comes to discussing the issues dividing us as a country, and very little is more divisive than the discourse surrounding modern U.S. immigration. For many opposed to undocumented immigrants in this country, the fault lies with immigrants’ failure to “get in the line” and enter the U.S. “the right way.” Even some who morally support undocumented people have concerns that they are “law breakers,” and feel unable to counter the “criminal” narrative.
But how easy is it to “just get in line” and become a U.S. citizen? What are the laws surrounding immigrants in our country? As a country with a long and complicated history with immigrants and the immigration process, it can be hard to tell fact from fiction when it comes to our modern immigration legal system.
Join us as Michele McKenzie breaks down the complex U.S. immigration system from the very beginning, shedding light on how immigration laws originated and evolved; who was—and was not—allowed into the country; the various statuses that non-U.S. citizens can occupy; and the effect on those who are currently caught in the cross-hairs of the system.
Opening the evening will be members of Sembrando Poder, who will share their personal experiences of the U.S. immigration system.
The Women’s and Youth Resistance Circle Project is part of the newly formed group, Sembrando Poder, a First Universalist Foundation grant recipient. Circle participants work together to “plant the seeds of power” and change unjust systems—specifically the immigration system. Women, children and youth who have had their families torn apart will be present to tell their stories and how they are organizing collectively to take action against these grave injustices against them, and so many others.
Michele Garnett McKenzie serves on the senior leadership team at The Advocates for Human Rights, and also leads the organization’s research, education, and advocacy team. She joined the staff of The Advocates in 1999 as an attorney representing asylum seekers and detained immigrants. She later managed the asylum, detention, and walk-in clinic projects in addition to policy advocacy relating to immigration. Michele serves on the national leadership team of the Immigration Advocates Network. She has served as an adjunct clinical faculty member of William Mitchell College of Law and the University of Minnesota Law School.