Symposium on Immigration Policy and the 2024 Election 


Symposium on Immigration Policy and the 2024 Election 

Apr 2, 2024 at - | The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (PCPSE)

Co-sponsored by
The Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration (CSERI), Penn Migration Initiative (PMI), the Population Studies Center (PSC))


As we look toward the 2024 U.S. presidential election, immigration will be a central issue, both among candidates and the electorate.

Much of today’s immigration policy has been shaped by Congressional gridlock and the increased role of the executive branch in shaping the country’s immigration agenda. In President Biden’s first three years, he signed 535 immigration-related executive actions. Particularly noteworthy is his administration's use of parole for both migrants residing in the United States and those coming into the country, and ongoing controversy over the handling of the U.S.-Mexico border “crisis.” And while Biden sought to take action to strengthen the Obama Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, its fate, and that of other temporary immigration protections, will most likely be decided by the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, local communities have felt the impact of nearly two decades of heavy immigration enforcement that has separated families and sown anxiety, as well as a more recent influx of newcomers that has placed pressure on local infrastructures. 

This symposium brings together policy analysts, immigration scholars, and representatives of non-profit advocacy organizations to discuss immigration policies and their impact, as well as the role of academic research in informing the broader debate.  




12:45 PM



(A light lunch will be served.)


1:00 PM

Opening Remarks


Chenoa Flippen

Professor of Sociology & Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Immigration, University of Pennsylvania

Roberto Gonzales

Richard Perry University Professor of Sociology and Education, University of Pennsylvania


1:15 PM - 2:45 PM

Panel 1: Contemporary Immigration Policy and the Role of Immigration in America’s Future 


Moderator: Michael Jones-Correa, President’s Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania 


Ariel Ruiz, Senior Policy Analyst Migration Policy Institute (MPI)  

Dara Lind, Senior Fellow American Immigration Council 

Angela Kelley, American Immigration Lawyers Association 

This panel offers a bird’s eye view of the Biden administration’s policies, the current debate, and what immigration policy might look like under different scenarios. What is the future of presidential executive actions? And is there hope for legislative solutions?


3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Panel 2: The Impact of Biden’s Immigration Policies and Enforcement 


Moderator: Fernando Chang Muy, Thomas O’Boyle Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania 


Margie McHugh, Director, National Center on Immigration Integration Policy, Migration Policy Institute (MPI) 

Sarah Paoletti, Practice Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania, Director, Transnational Legal Clinic 

Erin Argueta, Senior Lead Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center

This panel brings together immigrant rights advocates and scholars to shed light on how current policies are experienced by local communities and institutions.

Erin Argueta, Senior Lead Attorney, Southern Poverty Law Center

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Book Launch: Drawing Deportation: Art and Resistance among Immigrant Children

by Silvia Rodriguez Vega


Drawing Deportation: Art and Resistance among Immigrant Children 

Young immigrant children often do not have the words to express how their lives are shaped by issues of immigration, legal status, and state-sanctioned violence - but are able to communicate its effects on them using art. Based on ten years of work with immigrant children as young as six in Arizona and California, Silvia Rodriguez Vega provides accounts of children’s challenges with deportation and family separation during the Obama and Trump administrations. While much of the literature on immigrant children depicts them as passive, when viewed through this lens they appear as agents of their own stories.