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Media Advisory
Congressional Briefing

April 16, 2004

A Nation of Immigrants: Current Policy Debates
Meet New Social Science Research

There are about 33 million foreign-born persons living in the United States and nearly two-thirds of these immigrants are either naturalized citizens or legal permanent residents. Another estimated 9 million are undocumented residents. The American Sociological Association (ASA)—in collaboration with the California Institute for Federal Policy Research, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics, National Council of La Raza, Population Association of America, and the Population Resource Center—is sponsoring a briefing of distinguished speakers who will offer a valuable perspective on immigration in the United States.

Experts estimate that 6 million undocumented persons are in the workforce. President Bush’s recent proposal to establish a temporary worker program has put immigration reform back on the congressional agenda. As Congress debates various proposals, findings from a large body of social science research can help lawmakers make informed, evidence-based decisions related to immigration policy.

Panelists at the briefing will discuss significant research on immigrants in America: Where do immigrants settle, and why? How do immigrant workers benefit the United States, and what are potential societal costs? What do past and proposed immigration policies portend for the lives of immigrants and their children in this country? What has research shown about assimilation experiences over the past century?

Who: Dr. Rogelio Saenz, Chair, Dept. of Sociology, Texas A & M University, and author of Latinos and the Changing Face of America at the Turn of the Century; Dr. Douglas S. Massey, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, and co-author of Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Mexican Immigration in an Era of Economic Integration; and Dr. Victor Nee, Chair, Dept. of Sociology, Cornell University, and co-author of Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and the New Immigration. ASA’s Executive Officer Dr. Sally T. Hillsman will moderate the panel and a question-and-answer session.

What: Congressional Briefing on A Nation of Immigrants: Current Policy Debates Meet New Social Science Research

When: Monday, April 19, 2004; 11:30AM – 1:00 PM (lunch served until noon)

Where: Room B339 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC

Direct media inquiries to ASA’s Johanna Ebner ( or 202-383-9005) or Lee Herring (

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About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.