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Immigration Reform - Professors Available for Interviews
[January 28, 2013]

Immigration Reform - Professors Available for Interviews

SANTA CLARA, Calif. --(Business Wire)--

As Congress and President Obama unveil their proposals for reforming immigration laws in the United States, several Santa Clara University professors with expertise on various aspects of immigration are available for analysis:

Legal Issues:

Pratheepan Gulasekaram, professor of immigration law at Santa Clara University School of Law, is an expert in state and federal immigration laws. He can discuss proposals from Congress as well as many of the recently passed, anti-illegal-immigration state laws - and how they will be affected should any of the current federal proposals become law.

Prof. Gulasekaram is co-author of a study showing that, contrary to belief and rhetoric, anti-immigration laws do not tend to emerge in jurisdictions that have statistically significant social or economic problems associated with illegal immigration - crime, overcrowding, resident exodus, etc. Rather, such laws tend to emerge in areas with strong Republican political make-ups.

Prof. Gulasekaram can be reached by e-mail at or at (408) 554-4188. Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations can also help reach him on deadline: or 408-768-6898 (cell).

Political Issues:

James Li, Ph.D. is a professor of political science and director of Santa Clara University's ethnic studies program. He can discuss the latest immigration reform plan and how it relates to the 2012 STEM Act as well as to Silicon Valley employees with high-tech work visas.

He can also comment on a recent report that criticized big companies like Google (News - Alert) and Apple for failing to hire U.S.-educated minorities and lumping them in with Asian-Americans to distort the numbers.

Prof. Lai can be reached at or (408) 554-5760. Marika Krause of SCU Media Relations can also help reach him on deadline: or 408-829-4836 (cell).

Moral/ Ethical Issues:

Kristin Heyer, Bernard J. Hanley Professor of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University, is the author of the newly published Kinship Across Borders, A Christian Ethic of Immigration. The book examines the human consequences of current immigration laws, including border deaths, inhumane raids, family separations and upheaval, and the creation of an "underclass" that violates Catholic and other moral social teaching.

She can discuss Catholic and Christian ethics of immigration; the current immigration system's effect on women and families; Catholic Social Teaching on immigration, and other moral dimensions of the issue.

Prof. Heyer can be reached (class schedule permitting) at or at 408-551-4758. Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations can also help reach her on deadline: or408-768-6898 (cell).

Law Clinic Perspective:

Lynette Parker, Supervising Attorney for the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center of Santa Clara University School of Law, can discuss immigration reform from the perspective of undocumented immigrants she counsels on issues such as domestic violence and human trafficking. Prof. Parker says that many immigrants are wary and weary of political promises, having seen reform fail many times before. She also says undocumented immigrants need to be on guard against unethical organizations that crop up at times like this, promising to help them get their status in order for a steep fee.

Prof. Parker is available on a limited basis for interviews the week of Jan. 28. Reporters can e-mail her at or set up an interview via Deborah Lohse of SCU Media Relations or 408-554-5121.

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