Give Now

2014 Archives

Immigration Experts and the Search for a Solution

July 15, 2014

With President Obama having visited Texas -- but not the Texas-Mexico border -- print, television and radio news media looking for experts turned to SMU faculty members for comments and analysis on the humanitarian, legal and moral issues in play. Following are samples of interviews and analysis. As the debate continues on Capitol Hill, media are urged to contact SMU News & Communications at or 214-768-7650 for experts:

Political Science Professor Cal Jillson

“If Obama had been willing to go with (Texas Gov. Rick) Perry to the border, that would have been the optics Perry was looking for – where he could lecture the president, with people crossing the Rio Grande in the background,” Jillson told The Christian Science Monitor on July 10. Read the full story

"So Perry can make those points. Obama can listen to him. I think it's way too much to expect that a Republican leaning toward a presidential run and a Democratic president are going to come to a meeting of the minds," Jillson told CBS 11 News:

Legal and Human Rights Issues
Rick Halperin, director of SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program

"Even if it's just one person who reaches this country, this country has a legal and moral obligation to help that person and not send him or her back to the country of origin where they face repression or death," Halperin told WFAA News on July 11:

Border Security vs. Humanitarian Crisis
Prof. Faith Nibbs, director of SMU’s Forced Migration Innovation Project

"It is a humanitarian crisis because of the reasons that they're fleeing and because there's such large numbers and because it becomes a convoluted mix of people who pick up on that trail along the way. It also becomes a border security crisis. It's a matter of letting the system play out that will separate the two," Nibbs, an anthropologist, told WFAA News on July 11: