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Sept. 23: Discuss whether U.S. Constitutional Rights apply to Non Citizens

A Spanish-English discussion of the constitutional rights and protections provided to non-citizens (legal or not), part of My Daily Constitution

When: Saturday September 23, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: St. Mary’s Catholic Church 317 North New Jersey StreetIndianapolis 46204

What are the rights of non-citizens? Do they have rights to free speech, protections in the work place? Should they have voting rights? What about free association, equal protection, criminal law, and other aspects of our Constitutional Democracy? How does it differ for undocumented noncitizens? This discussion, held in English and Spanish, will grapple with challenging issues at this significant time in our nation's immigrant history. Discussion Leaders will be Prof. María Pabón López (Indiana University School of Law Indianapolis) and Teo Cain (Community Organizer).

This should be a VERY interesting disscussion. I do work on immigration and must admit that I don't know as much as I should. From my reading of the Constitution, most of the Bill of Rights say what the government can't do ... to anyone, without specifying if it's done to citizens or noncitizens, legal or illegal immigrants. So I have some background reading to do. If, like me, you want to prepare yourself for this discussion (which doesn't have to mean brushing up on your high school Spanish), some suggestions. The good folks at Yahoo! collect general articles about immigration; so does Google. For news articles on immigration, visit Findlaw. Findlaw has another page with every link you need to learn about immigration law. For in-depth coverage of rights of immigrants, take a look at the ACLU's "Immigration Project." Check out the Center for Immigration Studies for a more skeptical perspective on immigration. For a counting of Mexicans in Indiana, check out Sagamore Institute's study Mexican-Indiana economic relations. (And if you want to know where to find a bunch of denunciations of this study, ask john@sipr.org ... the fingers of IndyBuzz cringe in protest and thus cannot make themselves type the site.)

If you like this event ...

You can discuss other groups whose struggles for dignity and protection from abuse are reshaping our understanding of democracy and the Constitution such as ethnic minorities and gay people. Perhaps Monday's discussion about a shared American identity for an increasingly plural populace will help provide a unifying framework for the rest of the week.

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