Conversations About Immigration in Our Community

In February 2020, WIPPS began a three-part series on the topic of immigration.

The topic of immigration has stirred passions and debate in our country for decades, especially in the past two years. Central Wisconsin is quite familiar with immigration issues, from the Hmong refugee resettlements of the 1980s to current Hispanic immigrants who provide the backbone of our dairy industry. Beginning in February 2020, WIPPS has been proud to sponsor this three-part series, Conversations About Immigration in Our Community, to examine the ways in which our community is affected by this issue.

February 10 – U.S. Immigration Policy – How Did We Get Here?
This first event featured two authorities on immigration. They spoke from a historical perspective in Wisconsin as well as the current national situation.

Brett Barker, Ph.D., professor of history at UW-Stevens Point at Wausau, provided historical background on the arrival of various immigrant groups to the state. Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy for the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington D.C., examined the recent history of immigration policy in the U.S. She is a frequent commentator on the issue of immigration for national media outlets including CNN, PBS, NPR and Fox News. .

Event information:
Watch the event here:
Click here for Theresa Cardinal Brown’s PowerPoint.

March 10 – How Immigration Impacts Central Wisconsin
For the second event, a 15-member panel discussion featured several panelists drawn from various segments of local society representing a diversity of viewpoints, – from dairy farms, rural industry, law enforcement, education, business, various immigrant populations, and others. Moderator for this event was Rob Ferrett, host of Wisconsin Public Radio’s daily “Central Time” program. The purpose of this event was to help us understand how immigration affects our local society and economy from the perspective of those who live in Central Wisconsin.

Event information:
Watch the event here:

The final event, Addressing Immigration Issues: A Community Dialogue, has been postponed due to the COVID crisis. We are currently investigating a number of ways to conduct this event virtually. Sign up here to receive information as soon as more information is available.