Immigration

BGSU receives federal money to study migration

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The movement of people from place to place is centuries old. As part of human history, migration is integral to the story of the human race and modern society. Bowling Green State University has been awarded major funding under a new grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. “Understanding Migration: Local and Global Perspectives,” co-authored by Dr. Christina Guenther, world languages and cultures, and Dr. Vibha Bhalla, ethnic studies, has been funded for the full amount of $100,000. The new Humanities Connections grant is designed to encourage undergraduate students across the country to develop the intellectual skills and habits of mind that the humanities cultivate. In this first round of grant awards, BGSU was the only recipient in Ohio. The grant provides for professional development for faculty members in summer 2017 to design four new one-credit “1910” freshman seminar classes offered in the fall: “Immigrant Ohio in the 21st Century,” “Changing Faces of Europe: Contemporary Voices of Migration,” “The Great Migration,” and “Searching for Memories: Mexican (Im)Migration to Northwest Ohio.” The four seminars will then be expanded into general education courses and may qualify students for a Migration Studies certificate for those who complete all four. A second set of courses will be developed and launched in fall 2018. Topics may include “Transnational Ohio,” “Negotiating the Mediterranean: France and North Africa” and “Contemporary African Migration to the US.” Also supported by the grant will be BGSU’s third annual “Immigrant Ohio” symposium in fall 2017, and a community film festival on the topic of migration. BGSU faculty have been studying migration for years,…

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Faculty Senate wants BGSU to become a welcome campus

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News No pickets showed up for Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting advocating for Bowling Green State University be designated a sanctuary campus. A crowd was expected for the on-call session, which is on the calendar but seldom convened. Much to the dismay of a dozen or so students and faculty gathered for the proceedings, signs at the entryway to the assembly room advised that the seats were saved for senators. Once roll was called Rachelle Kristof Hippler, who chairs the senate, invited them in to fill whatever empty seats were left. Aside from reports from President Mary Ellen Mazey and Provost Rodney Rogers, the only item on the agenda was a resolution calling for BGSU to become a welcome campus. The change in the wording from “sanctuary” to “welcome,” was intentional. Asked to explain the difference Christina Guenther, who introduced the resolution and had called for the session last time senate met, said that being a welcome campus better aligned with the Not In Our Town efforts. The term also was “less loaded in terms of associations,” said the professor of German. A bill, supported by U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), has been introduced in the U.S. House calling for sanctions against sanctuary cities. Regardless of the term used, the senate after no action on the issue the previous two times it met, passed the resolution 46-6 with one abstention. The resolution was a softer version than the original petition. This time, Mazey choose not to express her opposition, though after the meeting she said she was not ready to say she approved. The resolution…


BGSU senate approves Welcoming Campus resolution

The Bowling Green State University Faculty Senate Tuesday afternoon passed a resolution calling for BGSU a Welcoming Campus. The vote was 46-6 in favor. The resolution as presented represented a somewhat softer version of the sanctuary campus proposal discussed earlier. The resolution was further changed by striking a provision calling for Homeland Security, Border Patrol and Immigrant and Customs officials on campus for recruiting to be in plain clothes and unarmed. Unlike in previous meetings President Mary Ellen Mazey did not state opposition to the resolution in her remarks at the beginning of the meeting. Afterward she said she would have to talk with members of her cabinet including university counsel before stating whether she approved of the resolutions. The use of the term “welcoming” instead of “sanctuary” was both to align with Not In Our Town and to evade sanctions being proposed against sanctuary communities.


Political scientist argues opening borders, resettling refugees are a moral imperative

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   While the president of the United States talks about building a wall to keep people out, political scientist Joseph Carens believes borders should be thrown open. “We have to use overt force to prevent people from moving,” he said. “We need borders and barriers and guards to keep out people who want to build a decent life for themselves and their children. And that is something we can change. At least we can let more people in. Our refusal to do so is a choice we make, and one that prevents them from having a chance at a decent life.” Carens, who spoke on “Immigration Controversies: Migrants, Refugees and Open Borders” Feb. 16 at Bowling Green State University bases his argument on the belief that “all human beings are equal” and have “equal moral worth.” His talk was hosted by the Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law Program. Yet, he said, the conventional view that states control who can come in and out means that the opportunities for human beings, especially those from impoverished and politically unstable states, are not equal. “Freedom of movement is essential to the freedom of equal opportunity,” Carens said. He sees no rationale for someone to be able to travel unhindered to Boston or Los Angeles, but then go through border checks to go to Toronto. Any system of restrictions, he said, should take into account the interests of all parties involved including immigrants. It is not enough to say an immigration regime that restricts who can come in and out and enforces that with guns, guards and barriers…


BG Police Division is not an arm of ICE

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Bowling Green Police Division is not in the pursuit of undocumented immigrants. “People think the police division is an arm of ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement),” said Major Justin White. “That misinformation breeds fear.” To try to calm those fears, Bowling Green Police Chief Tony Hetrick has met with members of the Latino organization La Conexion, and White has met with students and staff at the English Language Center at Bowling Green State University. “We are not out enforcing immigration, determining if someone should be here,” White said. “We are not stopping people driving down the street who look like immigrants to see if they belong here.” Across the nation, anxiety spiked recently after a series of raids made by U.S. immigration authorities. Hundreds of undocumented immigrants in several states have been arrested, according to President Donald Trump as part of his crackdown on immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. Officials said the raids targeted known criminals, but they also netted some immigrants without criminal records. Last month, Trump broadened the scope of who the Department of Homeland Security can target to include those with minor offenses or no convictions at all. That has led to fear throughout the country, and has led to a petition calling for BGSU to become a sanctuary campus. White said it is his understanding that international students have nothing to fear. “In order for them to get accepted into BGSU, they would have to have the proper paperwork,” he said. The Bowling Green Police Division has worked with ICE in the past, probably once or…


Still no action in Faculty Senate on sanctuary petition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green State University Faculty Senate meeting Tuesday unfolded much as the January session had. Senators were greeted by a gauntlet of protestors outside McFall, and then when the senate convened the sign-carrying demonstrators lined the assembly hall quietly and listened through President Mary Ellen Mazey’s remarks. And when she addressed the issue they were concerned about, a request for a sanctuary campus, they heard the same stance. The university must adhere to the law. But the university will do everything within the parameters of the law to assist foreign students and faculty as well as students with status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The university has 11 DACA students and 21 with visas or green cards from the seven countries covered by the travel ban. Mazey has publicly supported proposed federal legislation, the BRIDGE Act that would extent DACA status to people who were brought to the country illegally as children. On Tuesday, Mazey announced she joined 600 other higher education leaders in signing a letter opposing the travel ban issued by the administration. While acknowledging the need to “safeguard” the country, the letter states the signatories also recognize “the need for the United States to remain the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest students, faculty, and scholars.” This openness promotes American values abroad as well as promoting scientific and technological advances, the letter states. When asked, Mazey would not speculate on what action the university would take if these legislative and lobbying efforts failed. Professor Francisco Cabanillas then asked if those efforts fail “would we have…


Community stands with Muslims over travel ban

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   During his 35 years in the U.S., Imam Talal Eid said he has never criticized an American president. Even during the campaign, when Donald Trump made hateful statements about Muslims, Eid held his tongue. “He’s the president, I’m sure things will be OK,” Eid said once Trump took office. Then came the executive order that effectively banned Muslims from seven countries from entering the U.S. And Eid, director of religious affairs at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg Township, cautioned church officials to pray for the divided nation but not criticize Trump. But then the stories came of families separated, Muslims returned to dangerous lands, people’s lives at risk. “I started to hear the tragedies,” Eid said. “I broke my silence. Innocent people are being harmed in the name of our nation.” Eid spoke Sunday afternoon to a mosque crowded with members and strangers who wanted to offer their support in the face of the travel ban. The audience overflowed out of the sermon room into prayer room. “This is the first time that I feel that my country, my president is trying to kill the morale of innocent people,” he said. He spoke of the agony that families already go through to get entry into the U.S. “You may not be aware that people sell their homes to come to America and have a good life,” the Imam said. Eid said he  has always clung to the Constitution, which is guided by the belief that people are all created equal. “I always speak of the ethics of the Constitution.”…