USF Sarasota-Manatee to host immigration discussion

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s Institute for Public Policy and Leadership and Unidos Now will present an Immigration Forum on Wednesday, February 23 from 7-9pm in the Selby Auditorium at USF Sarasota-Manatee, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota.

Keith Fitzgerald, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Political Science at New College of Florida will moderate a panel discussion regarding immigration and the following questions:

  • What are the implications of pending legislation on immigration now being debated in the Florida Legislature?
  • What are the consequences of our current immigration discussion on Florida agriculture & business, law enforcement, and the state’s economy in general?

The agriculture industry, which is so important in this state, heavily relies upon migrant workers, making the subject of immigration a sensitive topic in Florida.  In recent decades, other industries including construction and hospitality have grown to depend on flows of migratory labor.

“There is no doubt that current and future legislation with respect to immigration law and policy can definitely have an impact on the agricultural, construction and hospitality/service industries in our state,” said Greg Dunn, Associate Professor in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at USF Sarasota-Manatee.  “We have also learned that immigration policy at the State level can affect the image of, and in turn the demand for travel and tourism to, a State, as well as organizations’ interest in holding meetings in that State.  A recent change in immigration policy in Arizona is a case in point. There needs to be more consideration and discussion on the issues before enacting policy revisions.”