2nd annual Transatlantic Forum on Migration and Integration held in Texas
From July 15-19, GMF and the Robert Bosch Stiftung hosted the second annual Transatlantic Forum on Migration and Integration (TFMI). The forum welcomed 58 emerging leaders working on immigration issues from the United States, Europe, and sending countries, including Japan, Russia, and El Salvador, to Austin and San Antonio, Texas.
The Forum opened on Wednesday evening with welcome remarks from GMF President Craig Kennedy and Dieter Berg, chairman of the board for the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
A learning community on migration and integration,TFMI participants represent business, government, media, academia, and non-governemental organizations on both sides of the Atlantic, and sending countries.
Over the following three days, the forum covered a range of topics relevant to immigration. Session topics included race, religion, and ethnicity; exterior and interior enforcement in the European Union and the United States; local solutions to federal problems; migration and the economic crisis; security and civil rights; and the illegal immigrant rights and legalization. Additionally, participants undertook varying site visits to relevant locations and institutions in Austin that provide services to immigrants. This included a one day trip to San Antonio where participants had the opportunity of sitting in and observing the San Antonio immigration court system, which was followed by a debriefing with immigration Judge Glenn McPhaul who shared insight into understanding immigration law at the federal level.
The mix of formats that also included speakers Rafael Anchía, House Representative, State of Texas; Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations, NumbersUSA; Antonio Ramirez de Leon, Adjunct Professor, Mexican American Catholic College; Mark Hugo Lopez, Associate Director, Pew Hispanic Center; Thomas Saenz, Counsel to the Mayor, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Randi Shade, Council Member, City of Austin; Alejandro Siller-González, San Juan Diego Immigration Project, Mexican American Catholic College;Cristina Tzintzún, Director, Workers Defense Project; and Shaarik H. Zafar, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, contributes to making TFMI the leading platform for future decision-makers and an international forum for exchange on crucial immigration and integration issues. TFMI sessions are designed to go below the surface-level debates in order to examine political instruments for dealing with migration. By exploring multiple perspectives on these issues, participants share ideas for best practices and form lasting professional relationships across political and national boundaries.
The forum ended with a proclamation from the Mayor of Austin declaring Thursday, July 16 as TFMI day in Austin.
Organized by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) with support and collaborative effort from the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the inaugural TFMI was held last year in Nuremberg, Germany, and laid the groundwork for the forum to be the leading platform for future decision-makers and an international forum for exchange on crucial immigration and integration issues.
Click here for link to full program. Please check back to the GMF website for video interviews and feedback from TFMI participants.