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University of Miami welcomes variety of voices on immigration law

The University of Miami recently offered a class called Immigration Reform: The Current Debate, featuring four professors with big differences in background and perspective. School administrators said that the class was being offered to show that there were different practical and academic perspectives in the continuing battle over immigration law. One UM official said that universities tended to approach these kinds of issues from one viewpoint, and the school wanted to show that it was willing to present more than just the sympathetic side of the argument based on its location.

The state of Florida is uniquely involved in the ongoing debate since the city is home to about 740,000 undocumented immigrants, a disproportionate chunk of the 11 million such immigrants across the country. The creator of the class said that the president of UM and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences both supported his idea.

The four teachers each represent a different take on the issue. One is the expert on Latin American affairs who created the class. The second is a political science professor with unique insights into the American political system. The third was a member of George W. Bush's Administration before becoming the UM president's chief of staff. The fourth had worked on President Barack Obama's re-election campaign and is a managing partner for the communications consulting firm that he owns.

The debate over immigration law is unlikely to be settled anytime soon. For individuals in Miami who are facing deportation or seek asylum in the United States, however, an immigration attorney might be able to offer important services. The attorney may be able to assist refugees, immigrants and others wanting to stay in this country legally to obtain the appropriate documentation.

Source: The Miami Hurricane, "Speakers bring diverse backgrounds to immigration reform", William Riggin, September 23, 2013

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