July 18, 2012 16:14 ET

INFORUM Presents "New Lives and Old Dreams: Immigration in America 2012"

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 18, 2012) - INFORUM at The Commonwealth Club is partnering with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants on July 24 to host "New Lives and Old Dreams: Immigration in America 2012" in celebration of USCRI's 100th anniversary. This panel conversation will focus on the nuanced reality of immigration in the United States. Panelists include Arturo S. Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers, Lavinia Limón, president and CEO of USCRI, Dulce Matuz, president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition and Deep Nishar, senior vice president, products and user experience at LinkedIn. Raul Ramirez, executive director of news and public affairs for KQED Public Radio, will moderate the discussion.

America's beginnings are historically rooted in immigration, and it is still a highly trending topic -- new legislation and policy surface the news and today's events on a daily basis. This panel aims to create constructive dialogue that gives hard answers. What does a "typical" immigrant really look like in the U.S. today? How do immigration policies impact the lives of documented and undocumented immigrants? INFORUM's panel line-up is composed of sector leaders who all represent a wide spectrum of experiences. With perspectives ranging from agriculture to technology, the plight of undocumented young academics to the legislative rights of aliens and refugees, this conversation will provide a comprehensive depiction of the many faces, pursuits and industries of immigrants in America this year.

With the 2012 election year in full force, immigration is no longer a backburner issue and there is no better time to host a meaningful conversation to penetrate the political rhetoric. INFORUM is honored to host a panel with such a timely presence in the immigration arena -- Lavinia Limón is currently in Jordan visiting Syrian refugees; Dulce Matuz, who appeared this year on TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential in the World, is fighting Arizona's newly imposed SB 1070 law at age 27; Arturo Rodriguez is spearheading controversial legislation for domestic workers; and Deep Nishar represents a brilliant example of the importance in the amount of increased H1 Visas in today's burgeoning tech community.

"Newcomers in America face much steeper challenges than in the past. We see troubling new developments from state laws that have passed, allowing local governments to impose moratoriums on refugee resettlement," said Lavinia Limón, president and CEO of USCRI. "We should never lose sight of the enormous contributions that refugees made to our country. They contributed their cultural knowledge and the strength of their love of freedom and family to their new communities. It is imperative that we continue to uphold and promote the American ethos of providing freedom and opportunity to those fleeing tyranny and violence around the world."

This is not the first time The Commonwealth Club has tackled the longstanding controversy of defining what it means to be an American. In 1984, Cesar Chavez delivered a speech at The Club saying "The fight is never about the grapes or the lettuce. It is always about the people." Nearly 30 years later, INFORUM is bringing back the fight. The salient discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24. After the conversation, keep the debate alive at our premium reception attended by panelists, guests and the Bay area's finest with wine provided by Voces Wines and The Right Blend.

Come hear the true stories shared by more than 10 million individuals. Now is the time to define, celebrate and challenge America.

The program will take place at The Blue Room at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 24, at 6:30 p.m. PT. For more information and to register for tickets, call (415)-597-6705 or register online at

Media interested in attending should please RSVP to:
Caroline Moriarity Sacks, INFORUM Director, (415) 597-6719,
Enies Burton, INFORUM Public Relations Chair,
Please bring a business card to the event.

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The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation's oldest and largest public affairs forum -- since 2002, INFORUM, a division of The Club created by and for people in their 20s and 30s, has spent the past decade stirring things up with a mission to inspire debate around civic issues. INFORUM has played host to a variety of ingenious speakers, with upcoming guests like Van Jones and Rachel Maddow, and has reached beyond the traditional model, presenting events that range anywhere from spirits tasting to an exploration of the revolutionary music scene with the founder of Burning Man.

Contact Information

  • For more information:
    Caroline Moriarity Sacks
    (415) 597-6719
    Email Contact