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SPSSI Policy News RSS Feed - July 23, 2010


By Christopher Woodside

Event Summary

Arizona's Controversial Immigration Legislation (S.B. 1070) - A SPSSI Town Hall

The following is a synopsis of SPSSI's recent discussion of Arizona's SB 1070, which took place in New Orleans during the organization's 8th Biennial Conference.  The session was entitled:  Arizona's Controversial Immigration Legislation (S.B. 1070) - A SPSSI Town Hall.

The SPSSI SB 1070 town hall session in New Orleans was extremely well-attended, with a crowd of more than 30 conference-goers overflowing a very small room.  Everyone was enthusiastic and passionate about the issue at hand, and the circular configuration of the seating arrangement proved to be a very good fit for the goals of the meeting.

After introductions, attendees heard from Liana Epstein, a graduate student of Phil Goff's (UCLA), who presented a CPLE report that was originally brought to the Central Office staff's attention by Kay Deaux (CUNY).  You can view slides of Liana's presentation here.  The report addressed "Causes and Effects of Cross-Deputization Policy in Salt Lake City, Utah," and featured research that is particularly relevant to the current situation in Arizona and in many other states, as well as the larger immigration reform debate.

Liana's presentation sparked many questions about her research, but also a lively town hall discussion about SPSSI's role with regards to the immigration question(s) currently being discussed in political circles.  While there was a strong, strong message of support for SPSSI being more aggressive, issuing press releases and statements condemning the legislation, there was also a voice for restraint and neutrality in the face of heated political turmoil.  There was no consensus opinion reached, though those in favor of taking a stand against the Arizona bill were definitely more vocal throughout the course of the meeting.

The New Orleans town hall was a highly beneficial experience for SPSSI Central Office staff, and feedback from members who attended has been extremely positive.  Many different ideas and project considerations have emerged from the discussions that were sparked during the session, and the overall benefits of this style of direct member-to-member communication simply cannot be overstated.  SPSSI looks forward to continuing to pursue such channels of discussion for other important policy matters in the future.  Below, several photos of the town hall session in progress, have been embedded.


 Attendees gather for the research presentation

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 Liana Epstein presents

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Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin