EVENT: What’s Next? The Future of Immigration Policy – 2021 and Beyond

Published On: Donate

What’s Next?
The Future of Immigration Policy – 2021 and Beyond

December 3rd at 1:00pm EST

Over the last four years, we have seen families separated, children kept in cages and expelled from the border without due process, the dismantling of the refugee resettlement program, and increased fees and backlogs to immigration processes that have discouraged many from navigating the U.S. immigration system.

As the largest faith-based organization exclusively dedicated to serving vulnerable immigrant communities, and with over 80 years of experience,  Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service knows the following four years are critical to rebuilding the American tradition of welcome and refuge.

We invite you to join our virtual Congressional briefing on December 3rd at 1:00pm EST, What’s Next? The Future of Immigration Policy – 2021 and Beyond, where we will chart the top priorities for the next four years with a panel of migration policy experts and thought leaders.

MEET OUR EXPERT PANEL

Jon Baselice

Jon Baselice currently serves as the Executive Director of Immigration Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in June 2014 and advocates for sensible immigration policies before Congress and the executive branch agencies

Prior to joining the Chamber, Jon served as an advisor to Senator Rubio for 3.5 years. In that capacity, he held a very important position as one of the Senator’s lead immigration advisors during the Senator’s involvement with the Gang of 8 and his push for comprehensive immigration reform legislation in the 113th Congress. Jon is an attorney and he is licensed to practice in the states of New York and Florida. 

He obtained his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law and he completed his undergraduate education at Syracuse University where he majored in Economics and Political Science and was a member of the Syracuse Orange football team.

Julia Gelatt

Julia Gelatt

Julia Gelatt is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, working with the U.S. Immigration Policy Program. Her work focuses on the legal immigration system, demographic trends, and the implications of local, state, and federal U.S. immigration policy.

Julia Gelatt is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, working with the U.S. Immigration Policy Program. Her work focuses on the legal immigration system, demographic trends, and the implications of local, state, and federal U.S. immigration policy.

Dr. Gelatt previously worked as a Research Associate at the Urban Institute, where her mixed-methods research focused on state policies toward immigrants; barriers to and facilitators of immigrant families’ access to public benefits and public prekindergarten programs; and identifying youth victims of human trafficking. She was a Research Assistant at MPI before graduate school.

Dr. Gelatt earned her PhD in sociology, with a specialization in demography, from Princeton University, where her work focused on the relationship between immigration status and children’s health and well-being. She earned a bachelor of the arts in sociology/anthropology from Carleton College.

Jose Antonio Tijerino

Jose Antonio Tijerino

Jose Antonio Tijerino is president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, a national nonprofit focused on education, workforce, leadership and culture through innovative programs including in the tech and all STEM fields, entrepreneurship, finance, media and entertainment, social justice, among others.

JOSE ANTONIO TIJERINO is president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, a national nonprofit focused on education, workforce, leadership and culture through innovative programs including in the tech and all STEM fields, entrepreneurship, finance, media and entertainment, social justice, among others.

Hispanic Heritage Foundation, under Tijerino’s leaderhip, is recognized as a creative, agile, impact-focused organization recognized by The White House, US Congress, Fortune 500 companies, other nonprofits and the Government of Mexico. Tijerino also serves as executive producer of the Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center, which are broadcast on PBS.  Tijerino also founded the LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) Institute. 

Prior to HHF, Tijerino was an executive at Fannie Mae Foundation, Nike, Burson Marsteller, and Cohn & Wolfe.

Tijerino has been honored with the Ohtli Award, Lifetime Achievement Award by National PTA, Vision Award by Silicon Valley Latino Leadership, MALDEF Award for Human Rights, Community Service Award from Telemundo, Civilian Impact Award by US Army, Brillante Award by National Society of Hispanic MBAs, Digital Hero Award by MMTC, among others.

Tijerino has served on various boards and committees including Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative at Harvard’s Kennedy School, University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, University System of Maryland Foundation, Disney’s Community Advisory Board, Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership, National Girls Collaborative, Games for Change, KID Museum, and Nielsen’s Latino Advisory Counsel, among others.

Tijerino, a proud immigrant from Nicaragua, help found the Hispanic Leaders Alliance with the NFL, the American Project, #WeDreamAmerica campaign, #Masks4Farmworkers which provided 1.2 million masks for farmworkers during pandemic, READ (Refugee Education And Development), DREAM LEAD Institute, and helped produce the Oyeme! Project with Imagination Stage. 

He was recognized by FWD.US for his work with migrant families on the border, and is a Salinas Fellow at Aspen Institute.  Currently, he is part of Stanford Business School LBAN cohort.

Tijerino’s blogs and media presence have made him a national voice on various issues including diversity, immigration, creativity and youth empowerment.  He earned a BS degree from the University of Maryland’s school of journalism, and was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Chicago School.  Tijerino lives in Washington, DC.

Lee Williams

Lee Williams

Lee Williams is the Vice President for Programs at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Before coming to LIRS, Lee was Senior Vice President at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. During his tenure at USCRI, Lee was responsible for its refugee, unaccompanied children, and human trafficking victim assistance programs, MIS, and field office operations.

Lee Williams is the Vice President for Programs at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Before coming to LIRS, Lee was Senior Vice President at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. During his tenure at USCRI, Lee was responsible for its refugee, unaccompanied children, and human trafficking victim assistance programs, MIS, and field office operations.

Lee also served as Chief Financial Officer for seven years. Before USCRI, Lee was the Executive Director of the International Institute of Akron, Ohio, a nonprofit that serves the refugee and immigrant communities of northeast Ohio. Lee’s earlier career was in financial services in the U.S. and Europe. 

He holds a Graduate Certificate of Non-Profit Management from Case Western Reserve University, a Master’s degree in International Management from The Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Bs.L. in Arabic from Georgetown University.

MEET OUR MODERATOR

Krish O'Mara Vignarajah

Krish O'Mara Vignarajah

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah is the President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service – a former refugee herself, Krish served in the Obama White House as Policy Director to Former First Lady Michelle Obama, and at the State Department as Senior Advisor under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Krish has committed her career to public service because she knows how differently life could have turned out. Krish was 9-months old when she and her family escaped a country on the brink of civil war and built a life in Maryland. Her parents came to this country with no jobs and $200 in their pockets.

Krish is a graduate from Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County and then attended Yale College, where she earned a Master’s degree in Political Science and a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, where she received an M.Phil. in International Relations, before returning to Yale Law School, where she served on the Yale Law Journal.

Krish’s interest in public service and grassroots politics began at an early age. In elementary school, Krish went knocking door to door with her mother in support of Senator Barbara Mikulski when she won her historic first race for the Senate. In college, Krish worked for another great public servant when she spent her summer back from college working for Senator Paul Sarbanes.

At the White House, Krish served as Policy Director for Michelle Obama and led the First Lady’s signature Let Girls Learn initiative. At the State Department, she coordinated development and implementation of multiple programs including those concerning refugees and migration, engagement with religious communities, the legal dimensions of U.S. foreign policy, and regional issues relating to Africa and the Middle East.  She worked closely with PRM, Consular Affairs, Health & Human Services and the Department of Defense.

Before joining the White House, Krish worked at McKinsey & Company, where she consulted for Fortune 100 companies, practiced law at Jenner & Block in Washington, DC, clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and taught at Georgetown University as an adjunct.

Krish and her husband, Collin O’Mara are the parents of a young daughter, Alana.

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