A Great Debate

The 2019 Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate will examine the U.S. immigration system and its impact on the nation

Two experts on immigration, national security and refugee movements will take part in UC Santa Barbara’s  2019 Arthur N. Rupe Great Debate, addressing the topic “Immigration: A Boon or Burden to U.S. Society.”

The event, set for Thursday, May 2, will feature Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian and UC Irvine Distinguished Professor of Sociology Rubén G. Rumbaut. The debate will be moderated by Donald Kerwin, director of the Center for Migration Studies of New York.

The debate will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Krikorian is the co-author of “Open Immigration: Yea & Nay” and author of “The New Case Against Immigration, Both Legal and Illegal” and “How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration.” His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Rumbaut is the author of more than 200 scholarly papers and the co-author or author of 18 books and special issues, including “Immigrant America: A Portrait” and “Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation.” Since 1991, he has co-directed the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Study, which was designed to study the adaptation process of the immigrant second generation.

Presented by UC Santa Barbara’s College of Letters and Science and co-presented by the campus’s Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC) and Arts & Lectures program, the Rupe Great Debate Series explores contemporary societal issues of national and international significance through the presentation of eminent figures who hold divergent viewpoints.

The debate is structured as a roundtable discussion in which the moderator establishes a framework for the topic, poses questions to the panelist and facilitates discussion among them. The moderator also invites members of the audience to ask questions of the panelists.

“Central to the mission of the IHC is providing opportunities to further understanding of the complexities and multiple perspectives that surround issues of pressing social concern,” said IHC Director Susan Derwin. “We wanted to engage experienced, knowledgeable debaters who would participate in constructive, informative exchange that would educate our students and community members about immigration. Through this debate, we want to advance the goal of working beyond divisiveness and polarization and toward greater understanding and cooperation.”

Derwin said she hopes audience members will gain a deeper understanding of the many components and considerations that factor into a just immigration policy, knowledge about the current categories of visas, and a historically informed perspective on the interests and values that have subtended immigration policy over time.

Questions may be directed to the IHC at (805) 893-3907.

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