There are conversations, many heated and contentious, taking
place across the country on immigration. Here, in New York, officials are
launching a series of community immigration-themed conversations to celebrate this week's National Welcoming Week.
“While our representatives in Congress discuss the value of immigrants in Washington, it is important that we have similar conversations in town halls and living rooms across this State,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, who oversees the New York State Office for New Americans, for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “What better way to celebrate National Welcoming Week than to join our neighbors to talk about our shared immigrant heritage.”
On Thursday Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at the RHSM Life Center on Beekman Avenue in Sleepy Hollow, anyone is welcome to come and discuss how immigration shapes the American Experience. With a topic so vast, the organizers hope to use President Lyndon B. Johnson's remarks at the signing of the Immigration Bill at Liberty Island, New York as a starting point.
The Immigration Bill, as stated in Johnson’s words on October 3, 1965, “those wishing to immigrate to America shall be admitted on the basis of their skills and their close relationships to those already here.”
Has this vision failed or been realized? Where do we go from here?
You can listen to the whole speech, and watch images, on YouTube here and in the player window above.
"Immigration is such a needed conversation in our state and nation, and the humanities provide powerful tools to tackle that conversation; it's a natural topic for us," said Sara Ogger, the Council's Executive Director. "When each of these discussion groups gathers to talk about our shared experiences as a nation of immigrants, the participants gain new understanding and forge real bonds, even across perceived differences."For further information about the RSHM Life Center converation, please contact: Susan Gardella at (914) 366-9710 or visit http://www.rshmlifecenter.org.