Hauenstein to host panel discussion on U.S. immigration policy

Audience members listen to a speaker in Loosemore Auditorium
Image credit - Emily Zoladz

The complexities surrounding U.S. immigration policy require solutions that are just as complex, stretching from the federal government to the American public. 

The Hauenstein Center’s Common Ground Initiative brings policy analysts to the Pew Grand Rapids Campus for a bipartisan discussion on immigration and how U.S. citizens can play an empowering role toward that policy.

Hauenstein Center Director Megan Rydecki will moderate the panel featuring Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council, Theresa Cardinal Brown of the Bipartisan Policy Center, and David Bier of the Cato Institute. The discussion begins at 6 p.m. on January 25 in the DeVos Center. 

The panel is part of the Hauenstein Center’s 2023-2024 programming theme on empowered citizenship and defining what it means to be American in the 21st century.

Reichlin-Melnick is the AIC’s policy director leading the organization’s advocacy work in providing information to lawmakers, policymakers and the public about the role of immigrants in the United States. Reichlin-Melnick said it’s important to understand that immigrants shouldn’t be viewed as a monolith. 

“I hope audience members can gain some understanding of the complexity of the issues facing our immigration system and learn about the challenges that immigrants and the United States face in dealing with the current problems with our immigration system,” he said. “I also hope listeners will gain an appreciation of the need to address this complex topic with nuance, humanity, and a sense of justice.”

Theresa Cardinal Brown is the BPC’s senior advisor for immigration and border policy. Brown has made appearances on Fox News, NPR Morning Edition, PBS NewsHour, CNN International and BBC World. She has also been quoted in Time Magazine, The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. 

Bier is the associate director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute with expertise in legal immigration, border security and interior enforcement. Bier’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today. He has also testified before U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate committees. 


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