Speaker talks immigration ‘revolution’

Christina Thomas

Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, the Courtney Sale Ross University professor of globalization and education at NYU and co-director of Immigration Studies at NYU, speaks about Immigration and Latin America in Room 310 of the Student Center last night. SAM TWAREK |

Credit: DKS Editors

Last night, New York University immigration studies professor Marcelo Suarez-Orozco spoke to an audience about his research and ideas on immigration and Latin America.

“Immigration is a hot-button in election and in society,” said Deborah Craig, Honors coordinator of recruitment and scholarships. “So it wasn’t difficult to chose Suarez-Orozco as our speaker because it is a topic we all want to learn more about.”

The Honors College invited Suarez-Orozco, the Courtney Sale Ross University Professor of Globalization and Education at New York University, to share his ideas in immigration and globalization in light of Honors Week. His lecture came after the Forum for Undergraduate Scholars and Artists, where 16 honors students and McNair scholars presented their own research projects that they have been working on for up to a year.

Suarez-Orozco began by saying his focus was on immigration and Latin America and how it has influenced the United States, “and the challenges it is facing in the largest wave of immigration in the history of this country.”

Craig introduced Suarez-Orozco by saying he is one of the world’s leading experts on immigration and globalization. The turn out was small, with only about 25 people in the audience, leaving the chairs half empty in room 310 of the Student Center. Suarez-Orozco gave a powerpoint presentation of the research he has done, including many graphs and data supporting his ideas.

“Latin American immigrants are here to stay and are deeply rooting in and changing the U.S.,” he said during his speech. “They remain a powerful vector of change in Latin America.”

He explained that immigration is a “revolution” in the world and the United States is “at the forefront.” He explained how immigration is occurring all over the world and he said, “we live in the age of movement and in the age of large-scale migration.

“To understand Latinos you have to understand immigration and the United States, and you also have to understand how the U.S. and Latin America are interconnected.”

He said Latinos are changing the United States and also changing Latin America by leaving their countries to come here.

He discussed the different issues involved with the immigration, and how education is a huge factor in the future direction of immigration. He explained that schools need to accommodate the young generations of immigrants, which will define immigration in the future.

“We should ask our political leaders, our intellectual class and our informed citizens to turn their attention to the issues of leading matter moving forward,” he concluded.

Even though the crowd was small, Suarez-Orozco gave a detailed and informative lecture that students such as Wesley Huber enjoyed. The senior sociology major, who was one of about five students who attended, said he liked the speaker and the way he presented his research to the audience.

“I think that the manner in which he presented the information was a good way to visualize what he was trying to convey and pull from it what you thought was important,” Huber said.

Huber said he particularly liked that Suarez-Orozco had data on so many different groups, such as Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese. He said he liked that the speaker was able to give detailed answers to all the questions the people had.

“He answered the questions the audience in totality, rather than just specifically answering it and setting it aside, he circumnavigated it, encapsulating it and answering every aspect of the question,” he said.

Contact Honors College Reporter Christina Thomas at [email protected].