Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Vanderbilt speaker invitation highlights values at issue in immigration debate

Vanderbilt UniversityVanderbilt University's student-run Impact Symposium is an annual speakers' forum dedicated to issues in controversy. According to this Vanderbilt University press release, the Impact Symposium has invited former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards and former financial journalist Peter Brimelow to speak on the topic of "Disappearing Borders". Brimelow will speak at 8pm March 20, and Edwards will speak at 8pm March 21. Ticket sales open to the public March 16.

According to this Southern Poverty Law Center article, Brimelow's position on immigration has morally significant undertones:

"[Brimelow] said that white Americans should demand that U.S. immigration quotas be changed to allow in mostly whites. He argued that spending tax dollars on anything related to multiculturalism was 'subversive.' He called foreign immigrants 'weird aliens with dubious habits.'"

By inviting Brimelow, Vanderbilt students have identified the moral importance of the immigration debate.

The other invited speaker John Edwards has had this to say about immigration in general and Hispanic families in particular:

"[W]hen I was young, we moved to a small town in rural North Carolina, which is where I grew up. That town is now half Hispanic. My family moved to that town because my father, who has a high school education and is still living, believed that by working hard and doing the right thing that his kids would have the opportunity for a better life. These Hispanic families? They came to Robbins, North Carolina, for exactly the same reason. And those who came and live there, who work hard and are responsible, they have earned the right to be American citizens."

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