Immigration to jump start series |

Immigration to jump start series

Political analyst Linda Chavez to give Thursday presentation

Most Americans can agree on one thing — immigration reform is a divisive topic.

Linda Chavez, author, syndicated columnist and political analyst for Fox News, begins this year’s Seminars at Steamboat with “Facing Facts about Immigration Policy.” The seminar begins at 5 p.m. Thursday at Centennial Hall, 10th and Oak streets.

A graduate of the University of Colorado, Chavez calls for a three-pronged approach to immigration that includes strengthening borders, dealing with illegal immigrants already in the United States and allowing more permanent residents and guest workers.

“The best way to stop more people from coming here illegally is to increase border security and change our current, inflexible laws to make it possible for more people to come here legally,” Chavez said.

When selecting speakers and topics for the popular Seminars at Steamboat, the board looks at current events and hot-button issues, said Jane Stein, a seminar board member. The board also seeks input from previous attendees. Immigration was suggested as a seminar topic.

“You have to be timely, like immigration, for example. Could that be more timely?” Stein said.

Chavez, the chairwoman for the Center for Equal Opportunity, believes there are some misconceptions about immigrants.

An example she provided is the fear that new immigrants from Latin America can’t, or refuse to, be absorbed into mainstream American life. It “drives much of the anti-immigrant sentiment so prevalent today,” she said.

But, she added, “Hispanics are not only assimilating as each group before them has, but at a more rapid pace than many previous groups.”

Chavez’s presentation, the first in the four-part seminar series, will last about 90 minutes and will conclude with a question-and-answer session and a short reception.

All seminars are free, and contributions to the series are accepted.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail

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