A Legal, Cultural, & Historical Approach to Understanding the Complex and Controversial Issue Dominating Our National Dialogue. All Americans are products of immigration. Even Native Americans were massively affected by the waves of European, involuntary African-American, Asian, and Hispanic migration. Are we a nation of immigrants or a nation that fears immigration? Should we welcome refugees or shun them as potential terrorists? Do we favor family members or workers? Rocket scientists or maids and landscapers? Build a wall or a welcome center? Get behind some of the divisive rhetoric and enter the dialogue in this participatory class that will give you a chance to “learn and do” in a group setting. Be part of a team designing and explaining your own immigration system. Your faculty leaders will be retired U.S. Immigration Judge Paul Wickham Schmidt, currently an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown Law, and Professor Jennifer Esperanza of the Beloit College Anthropology Department, who will also share her compelling experiences as the daughter of immigrants. Professor Esperanza and Judge Schmidt have successfully used their unique “legal/cultural anthropological approach” in undergraduate teaching and will now offer it in a post-graduate seminar.
Paul Wickham Schmidt ’70, retired in 2016 after 13 years as a U.S. Immigration Judge at the Arlington (VA) Immigration Court. Prior to that, he was an Appellate Immigration Judge on the Board of Immigration Appeals, U.S. Department of Justice, serving as the Chairman for six years. He also practiced business immigration law as a partner at Jones Day and managing partner of the D.C. Office of Fragomen. He was Senior Executive in the “Legacy INS” under administrations of both parties. Following graduation from Lawrence, he received a J.D from the University of Wisconsin Law School. He also received the 2010 Lucia Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award from Lawrence. Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown Law, writes the blog immigrationcourtside.com, and is a frequent speaker, radio, and tv commentator on current immigration issues.
Jennifer Esperanza received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from UCLA. She also holds a M.A. from UCLA and a B.A. from USC. She has been a Professor of Anthropology at Beloit College since 2008. As one of two socio-cultural anthropologists in the Department of Anthropology, her primary areas of expertise include political economy, Southeast Asia (Indonesia and the Philippines), tourism and handicrafts, language and identity, consumerism and immigration and refugee resettlement in the United States. She believes students must learn that culture cannot be properly understood without examining its economic and political contexts. In addition to authoring a number of scholarly publications, she received a Marvin Weisberg Foundation for Human Rights Faculty Research Grant in 2015, and a Mellon Foundation research grant in 2018-19.