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Immigration speaker draws large crowd

By Calesse Cardosi
On March 21, 2012

A large crowd gathered in Kelly Auditorium Monday for "An Evening with Randel K. Johnson," as Johnson, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, spoke about immigration
reform from a business perspective.
Johnson is responsible for labor,
immigration and employee benefits issues pending before Congress and federal agencies according
to a press release issued by the University.
Before joining the Chamber, he was the Republican labor counsel and coordinator for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce.
All areas of immigration reform
were discussed ranging from comprehensive approaches to more specific ways in which immigration
reform may benefit the U.S. economy.
Johnson pointed out that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce webFour
Xavier students have been working together since January to bring a TEDx (x=independently organized TED event) to campus, and in April, this dream is becoming
a reality.
Juniors Nick Turon and Michael Farwell, sophomore Sean Kallmeyer and senior Lyden Foust collaborated with faculty and administration to make the TEDxXavierUniversity event possible.
This event is based on the annual
TED conference that is a four day event filled with speakers
based on the theme of "ideas worth spreading" and is hosted by the non-profit organization TED. At the conference, each speaker has 18 minutes and instead of prefacing their speech with a list of credentials, they launch right into the material ranging from topics such as writing to the future
of medicine to combating modern slavery.site offers links to research that debunks a lot of myths surrounding
immigration.
Johnson concluded saying the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will continue to champion common-sense immigration reforms because
migrants significantly benefit
the U.S. economy by creating new jobs, and complementing the skills of the U.S. native workforce, with a net positive impact on wage rates overall.
Johnson continues to work in Washington D.C. yet finds time to travel to various institutions to speak with the hopes of informing
people who uncritically accept the stereotypical negative misconceptions
surrounding the immigrant
impact on the economy in our country.
"Johnson offers a unique vantage
point into the positive role that immigration reform can have in the U.S. because most immigration
awareness events are put together by faith-based or liberal
advocacy groups," Robert Pennington, a recent Xavier graduate,
said.
"Johnson is a wonderful anomaly
in regards to immigration reform
because he does not fit into either of these categories, instead Johnson offers his expertise as a leader of the American business community."
Pennington played a key role in orchestrating the evening's events and is the founding president of one of Xavier's newer organizations
- the Immigration Action Reform Club (IRAC), whose main goal is to promote awareness
regarding the phenomenon of immigration.
IRAC has hosted other immigration
events, as well. One such event was the speech last October featuring Pulitzer Prize winner Sonia Nazario who spoke about immigration and her book Enrique's Journey.
Other sponsors of the event included the Student Organization of Latinos (SOL), Xavier's Theology Department, and the Cincinnati Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.


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