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Americans understand that we all are immigrants whether our ancestors arrived willingly for economic opportunity or sought refuge and asylum from persecution. Most of our families have stories about struggles as newcomers as well as the uplifting and positive stories of becoming successful Americans. Immigration today is still fraught with conflict and controversy. To arrive at the policies and reforms that work for both human and national interest requires an understanding of what is occurring with our current immigration challenges. Our distinguished experts will walk us through this difficult process.


Steven Hubbard, Ph.D. is a data scientist at the New American Economy where he conducts research and data visualization projects related to how immigration impacts our economy. Most recently, he was a Zolberg Fellow at The New School and International Rescue Committee where he conducted research on Syrian refugees living in Jordan. With a deep interest in photography, he recognizes the importance of visualization to communicate complex data problems and facilitate data driven decision making. Hubbard has over 20 years of experience in college teaching, research, and administration at New York University, The University of Iowa, and Hamline University.

Jennifer Hunt is Professor of Economics at Rutgers University. From 2013-2015, while on leave from Rutgers, she served first as Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Labor, then as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Microeconomic Analysis at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Prior to joining Rutgers in 2011, she held positions at McGill University, the University of Montreal, and Yale University. Hunt is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London. Her current research focuses on the geographic diffusion of technology adoption, while past research has also encompassed immigration, wage inequality, unemployment, the science and engineering workforce, the transition from communism, crime and corruption.  She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard and her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Douglas S. Massey is the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, with a joint appointment in The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, he is the current president of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and is a member of the Council of the National Academy of Sciences and co-editor of the Annual Review of Sociology. Massey’s research focuses on international migration, race and housing, discrimination, education, urban poverty, stratification, and Latin America, especially Mexico. He is the author, most recently, of Brokered Boundaries: Constructing Immigrant Identity in Anti-Immigrant Times, coauthored with Magaly Sanchez and Published by the Russell Sage Foundation.

Carlos Vargas-Ramos, the moderator, is the Center for Puerto Rican Studies’ Director for Public Policy, External and Media Relations, and Development.  He is also an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University, where he teaches on immigration, race and ethnicity, and urban politics. As a social scientist, he has worked on the impact of migration on Puerto Rican political behavior, political attitudes, and orientations, as well as on issues of racial identity.  A political scientist by training, Dr. Vargas-Ramos is co-editor, along with Edwin Meléndez, of Puerto Ricans at the Dawn of the New Millennium, and author, among others of “The role of state actors in Puerto Rico’s long century of migration,” in Anke Birkenmaier, editor, Caribbean Migrations: The Legacies of Colonialism (2020),  “Puerto Ricans: Citizens and Migrants— A Cautionary Tale,” which appeared in Identities: Global Studies in Identity and Power, 20(6): 665-688, (2013), and “Migrating race: migration and racial identification among Puerto Ricans,” was published in Ethnic and Racial Studies. 37(3): 383-404 (2014).