West Cosgrove Discusses Immigration Relations
Guest speaker West Cosgrove, executive director of Project Puente, will discuss immigration relations with Mexico and current border issues during a talk at Alma College.
Cosgrove’s address, titled “Borders, Immigrants and National Values: Shaping Immigration Policy to Benefit Everyone,” takes place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29 in the Dow Science Center, Room L-1. Admission is free and open to the public.
Project Puente is a non-profit organization located along the U.S.-Mexican border. Under the leadership of Cosgrove, the organization offers border immersion trips and Spanish language programs to educate the public and, according to its mission statement, “work toward a more just world.” Cosgrove has spent 13 years doing experiential education along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Cosgrove’s lecture weaves nicely with current election issues, says Ed Lorenz, Reid-Knox Professor of History and professor of political science at Alma College.
“There is lots of talk about borders, immigrants and national values,” he says. “The presentation will focus on what immigrants contribute to our national environment and what their rights should be. Why is it we’re firm in protecting intellectual property, yet an Iowan meatpacking plant can exploit Mexican workers? ”
According to Lorenz, an important part of the conversation will be addressing buried topics, such as the underlying reasons for immigration.
“What’s causing people to move is not talked about,” he says. “There are a lot of myths about drug lords and welfare drains, but it’s important to see that this is far off the mark for the average person. These people aren’t committing acts of terrorism, and they’re taking some of the worst jobs. They’re not part of the Taliban, yet we act like they are.”
In the past, Lorenz has taken Alma College students to Juarez, Mexico and arranged for Cosgrove to speak to his class. While safety issues are currently preventing him from taking more classes south, he is still eager for students to attend this presentation.
“I hope a lot of people come,” says Lorenz. “If people have concerns about immigration and are concerned about the upcoming election, this should interest them.”
The talk by Cosgrove is part of “El Bicentenario in Michigan: Exchanges Between Michigan and the Americans,” Alma College’s yearlong observance of the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.
Posted: Wed, September 22nd, 2010 at 1:07PM