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Bipartisan Policy Panel: Immigration

January 25, 2024

No policy debate is as deeply entwined with the concept of citizenship as that of immigration policy. How do we choose who can become an American and what should their path to citizenship look like? What expectations should we have of immigrants and what expectations should they have of us? The Common Ground Initiative convened a bipartisan panel moderated by Hauenstein Center Director Megan Rydecki and featured Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council, Theresa Cardinal Brown of the Bipartisan Policy Center, and David Bier of the Cato Institute, to assess the problems facing our immigration system and identify potential solutions.

Event Media

Immigration Resources

Check out this PDF that has all the resources from the event program.


Feb 3, 2024 — Apr 28, 2024

Check out this exhibit at the GRAM!

Border Cantos | Sonic Border reveals the often unseen human reality of the Mexican-American borderlands. 

Conceived collaboratively by photographer Richard Misrach and experimental composer/​artist Guillermo Galindo, this exhibition includes photographic landscapes and a sound composition combined with musical sculptures created from objects found along the border.

Both artists address complex topics that touch on politics, environmental concerns, and humanitarian issues. Misrach is well known for expansive images focusing on the ways humans interact with and impact the natural environment. Galindo is inspired by the Mesoamerican belief that one can bring out the spiritual essence of an object’s past. His composition Sonic Border is a 260-minute piece using eight musical instruments he created from objects discarded near the US-Mexican border. 

Together, the photographs, objects, and sonic composition introduce distinct yet interrelated ways of experiencing the human consequences of immigration policies. The artists offer evidence of the thousands of people who have journeyed through the borderlands in hopes of a better life and, by doing so, encourage empathy for the plight of migrants everywhere. 



Bipartisan Policy Panel: Immigration - Full Event

Bipartisan Policy Panel: Immigration - Full Event

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Speaker Bios

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Aaron Reichlin-Melnick

Aaron Reichlin-Melnick is Policy Director at the American Immigration Council where he directs the Council’s administrative and legislative advocacy efforts to provide lawmakers, policymakers, advocates, and the general public with accurate and timely information about the role of immigrants in the United States. He previously served as the Senior Policy Counsel, where he worked primarily on border and immigration court issues and the intersection of immigration law and policy. He previously worked as a Staff Attorney at the Council, working on impact litigation, Freedom of Information Act litigations, and practice advisories. Prior to joining the Council, he was an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow placed as a Staff Attorney at the Immigration Law Unit of The Legal Aid Society in New York City, representing immigrants placed in removal proceedings because of a prior criminal conviction. Aaron holds a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Politics and East Asian Studies from Brandeis University.

Theresa Cardinal Brown

Theresa Cardinal Brown is a senior immigration and homeland security professional, with 30 years of experience in the legal, advocacy, government, and consulting worlds, including stints with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security. She is currently a Senior Advisor at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and a Distinguished Visiting Immigration Scholar at Cornell Law School. She offers advisory and consulting services under her Cardinal North Strategies, LLC banner. Theresa has authored several reports and publications covering immigration and border policy and is a regular media contributor discussing immigration issues in publications such as the Washington Post, the NY Times, the Wall St. Journal, and USA Today. She has appeared on television on Fox News, PBS News Hour, CBS’ “60 Minutes,” CNN, and local news outlets. Her radio appearances include the SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. channel, NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “1A” programs, and syndicated radio shows and podcasts. She is also the creator, executive producer, and regular voice on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s “This Week in Immigration” podcast, covering the latest in immigration policy news on a regular basis.

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David J. Bier

David J. Bier is the Associate Director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute. He is an expert on legal immigration, border security, and interior enforcement.

Bier’s work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, and many other print and online publications. The U.S. Supreme Court and multiple federal appeals courts have cited his research and writing. Bier has testified before committees in the United States House and the United States Senate on several occasions.

From 2013 to 2015, Bier drafted immigration legislation as a Senior Policy Adviser for Congressman Raúl Labrador, then a member and later the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.

Page last modified February 20, 2024