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Wright State students planning campus immigration forums for next week

Two Wright State University students are planning a nearly week-long forum on immigration issues.

The forum, called “Coming to America: Who should we welcome, what should we do?” is sponsored by the university’s center for service learning and civic engagement but it was put together by undergraduates Stephanie Patino-Garfias and Autumn Kern.

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The forum, which will run from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 5 through March 8, will address the big issues of immigration including the trade-offs, experiences, policy solutions, different viewpoints and where common ground exists.

“We believe that many citizens of Dayton want their voices heard on the issue of immigration and we thought that this was a great way to do so,” Patino-Garfias said.

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The moderator will ask participants whether the United States should welcome immigrants, enforce the law and be fair to those who follow it or slow down immigration, according to a flier for the event.

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The 90-minute conversations will be led by a nonpartisan moderator who will frame the issues in a balanced way, Patino-Garfias said. The forums will take place in the WSU student union’s Rathskeller conference room.

The forum comes as the national immigration debate has reached a fever pitch, with a deadline on a deal to protect people illegally brought to the U.S. as children looms later this month. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was set to expire on March 5, but legal issues could keep it in place a little longer, according to reports.

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