Suyapa Portillo Villeda is an assistant professor in Chicana/o Latina/o Transnational Studies at Pitzer College. Her work broadly focuses on social movements in Central America with a focus on Honduras. In particular, Portillo’s research centers on the intersections between labor, gender, and race in workers’ lives in the history of the banana export economy in Honduras and Central America.
Since the coup d’état in Honduras in 2009, Portillo has served as region expert in the media to attest to conditions in Honduras and the rest of Central America. Her expertise has been cited by CNN, NPR’s Take Two, and The Huffington Post.
Assistant Professor in Chicana/o-Latina/o Transnational Studies, Pitzer College
Areas of Expertise: Chicana/o Latina/o Transnational Studies, Labor, Gender, Ethnicity, Race, Honduras, Central America, History of Immigration and Migration in Central America, LGBTQ Community in Honduras
Dr. Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti is a professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Pace University in New York, NY. She is an expert on how public policy is impacted by gender, race, ethnicity- specifically on how Latino youth are impacted by technology, the military system and immigration policy. Monforti is the former president of the APSA Latino Caucus- an association pushing for the promotion and protection of professional development of Latina/os in political science. She has contributed to several news articles and broadcasts including NPR’s All Things Considered.
Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Pace University
Areas of Expertise: Public Policy Impacts by Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Impacts of Technology, Military System and Immigration Policy on Latino Youth
Ron Hira teaches in the Department of Political Science at Howard University. He is also a research associate with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC. He specializes in policy issues on offshoring businesses, high-skill immigration, and the American engineering workforce.
Hira has written widely on offshoring, high-skilled immigration, innovation, and the decline of the middle class. He is co-author of the book, Outsourcing America, which was a finalist for best business book in the PMA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards. The Boston Globe called Outsourcing America an “honest, disturbing look at outsourcing.” The Washington Postdescribed the book as a “thorough and easy to grasp primer on the wrenching outsourcing debate.” In addition, he has testified seven times before Congress on high-skilled immigration and outsourcing.
Associate Professor in Political Science, Howard University
Areas of Expertise: High-Skilled Immigration, STEM Labor Markets, Offshoring and Outsourcing, Innovation Policy
Maria Cristina Garcia is the Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies at Cornell University. Her work focuses on refugees, immigration, exiles, and transnationals in the Americas. Her first book Havana USA: Cuban Exiles and Cuban Americans in South Florida, provides an in-depth look at the migration of Cubans to the United States after Fidel Castro took power in 1959.
Her more recent work Seeking Refuge: Central American Migration to Mexico, and the United States, and Canada, is, in her own words, “a study of the individuals, groups, and organizations that responded to the Central American refugee crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, and helped reshape refugee policies throughout North America.”
Garcia has appeared on NPR.
Howard A. Newman Professor in American Studies at Cornell University
Areas of Expertise: Immigration, U.S.-Cuban Relations, Latino U.S. History
John Carlos Frey, Reporting Fellow for The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, is an award-winning freelance investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker. His work focuses on migrant life and marginalized communities through his vast reporting along the U.S. Mexico border and Latino community. Through his reporting Frey has gained national and international notoriety and his work has even prompted federal and local investigations.
Lorella Praeli is the Director of Advocacy and Policy for UnitedWeDream. Previously, she co-founded and directed Connecticut Students for a Dream and led the public advocacy campaign for the passage of the Connecticut in-state tuition bill. The bill was signed into law in 2012, making undocumented students eligible for in-state tuition at state colleges.
Originally from Ica, Peru, Praeli immigrated to the United States at the age of 11 to receive medical treatment. After advocating for the adoption of anti-bullying measures at the legislative and community levels, she joined the student immigrant rights movement and came out as “undocumented and unafraid.”
Her advocacy efforts and leadership with United We Dream played a key role in forcing the Obama administration to deliver reprieve from deportation and work permits to 1.4 million DREAMers through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Praeli graduated summa cum laude from Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology.
Director of Advocacy and Policy, UnitedWeDream
Areas of Expertise: Immigration Policy and Politics, Immigrant Youth Movement, DREAM Act, Youth Organizing
Mae Ngai(nye) is a professor of history and Asian American studies at Columbia University. According to her bio, she was previously “a labor-union organizer and educator in New York City, working for District 65-UAW and the Consortium for Worker Education.” She has written about immigration for organizations such as The New York Times, The Nation, and the Boston Review.
Karthick Ramakrishnan teaches political science and public policy at the University of California, Riverside. He is an expert on immigration policy, and his research interests include political behavior, policy process, federalism, interest groups, and Latino and Asian American politics.
Wong is the founder of the Dream Project, “a non-profit oral history project led by current and former undocumented youths and allies.” According to his CV, he is working on a book called “Rights, Deportation, and Detention in the Age of Immigration Control.”
Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego
Areas of Expertise: Comparative Politics, Immigration, Immigration Politics and Policy, Human Rights, Citizenship
Veronica (Ronnye) Vargas Stidvent can speak about law, politics, and policy trends in the Hispanic community. She is the Executive Director of The Center for Women in Law at The University of Texas at Austin. Stidvent has held roles in both federal government and higher education in Texas. She is also President of Stidvent Partners, a consulting firm founded in 2013.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from UT and a law degree from Yale, Stidvent went on to serve as President George W. Bush’s special assistant for policy. She has also worked as assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Labor and as a policy advisor in the Office of Managements and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. In 2016, Stidvent was appointed to the State of Texas Governor’s Advisory Council on Cultural Affairs.
Chancellor of Western Governors University (WGU) Texas
Areas of Expertise: Immigration Policy and Reform, Latino Politics, Law, Business, Hispanic Culture and Identity, Hispanic Leadership