Panel to address current issues in immigration

In recent news, social and political rants about immigration bans have flooded medias throughout the world. In an effort to promote solidarity during these troubling issues, the community advisory committee of the Border Cantos Exhibition has organized a panel to shed light on current concerns about immigration.

The discussion, titled “Exiles, Immigrants, and Refugees: People With Rights Not Just Needs,” will take place on Wednesday, March 15 at 12 p.m. in Reynolds Auditorium, Donald W. Reynolds Center for Expertise Development.

Panelists will address the rights of people who have been forced to leave their home countries. The panel will also examine the global scope of the human experience of immigration and national boarders addressed in the Border Cantos Crystal Bridges exhibition, which presents the collaborative work by photographer Richard Misrach and experimental composer/artist Guillermo Galindo. The exhibit focuses on the US Mexico border.

According to Luis Fernando Restrepo, university professor of Spanish and moderator for the panel, the purpose of the discussion is to stand with U of A students, international and local, affected by unjust and dehumanizing immigration policies.

It is an invitation to discuss how fair are our immigration policies, which are the uprooted peoples rights, and which is our responsibility. This panel looks at it on a global perspective, examining the rights of three groups, exiles, immigrants and refugees. 

The panel will consist of Prof. Sidney Burris, director of TEXT program; Tri Murniati, doctoral student in comparative literature and cultural studies; Prof. Yajaira Padilla, English & Latin American studies; Jessica Garross, president of Students for Refugees; and Mr. Frank Head, director of Catholic Immigration Services of Arkansas.

In this panel, you can find more about what you can do locally to support real human rights—human dignity cannot be vetted out. Many of the unjust immigration policies are being done in your name and in the name of America.  Is this how you want the world to see us? We have local initiatives such as Canopy that speak of another America, more humane and just.  You can decide on which side of history you want to be counted in.

This event is sponsored cosponsored by the Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies Program, Latino and Latin American Studies, Students for Refugees and Crystal Bridges Border Cantos exhibit.

For more information about this event, contact Luis Fernando Restrepo at or 479-575-7580.