Moving a National Agenda: Making the Most of Administrative Relief

After several failed legislative attempts at comprehensive reform and decades of advocacy from immigrant communities and their allies, now is a decisive moment. The NIIC will be the largest gathering of leaders in the immigrant rights movement, government, faith, business, academia, and policy since the President announced his executive action. There is a desperate need for coordination, public education, and outreach to prevent chaos and fraud. As a field we must focus on making administrative relief workable, generous, and catalytic. Speakers:

  • Felicia Escobar, Special Assistant to the President of the United States for Immigration Policy
  • Larry Kleinman, Immigration Reform Implementation Senior Advisor, FIRM
  • Drew Westen, Professor, Department of Psychology, Emory University
  • Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
  • Charles Kamasaki, Executive Vice President, National Council of La Raza (NCLR)

Full Citizenship in America

This plenary will bring together intellectual leaders, policymakers, and practitioners working to promote a path to citizenship. The panel of leaders will consider the evolving nature of citizenship in America and internationally. This plenary will consider how citizenship can extend beyond conceptualizations of birth and naturalization. Keynote:

  • Gov. Jerry Brown, Governor, California (invited)


  • Eric Liu, Founder and CEO, Citizenship University


  • Norma Wong, Instructor, Institute for Zen Studies
  • Roger Smith, Actor, Director, Writer
  • Lavinia Limón, President & Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)

Integration Idol: Municipal Leadership in Immigration

This plenary will celebrate the launch of the second phase of Cities for Citizenship (C4C) and will feature an exciting “American Idol” style competition to anoint the nation’s most welcoming and immigrant friendly city. Commissioners of immigrant affairs from several major cities will compete for your vote! [av_heading heading='Integration Idol' tag='h4' style='' size='' subheading_active='' subheading_size='15' padding='10' color='' custom_font=''][/av_heading]


  • Dr. Manuel Pastor, Professor, University of Southern California, Dornslife-Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, Co-Director USC CSII Program


  • Shena Erlington, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice, Center for Popular Democracy
  • Linda Lopez, Chief, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Los Angeles
  • Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Chicago
  • Tonanzin Carmona, Director, Mayor’s Office of New Americans, Chicago
  • Monica Fuentes, Chief Service Officer, Atlanta
  • Jennifer Rodriguez, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs, Philadelphia

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  • Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development and Microfinance
  • Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles


  • Leon Rodriguez, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Dept. of Homeland Security

Building Partnerships for Immigrant Integration

Once unlikely partners, labor and business have joined forces to promote integration through a variety of innovative programs. Similarly, philanthropic involvement has evolved within the field. This plenary will explore existing partnerships and consider future collaborations between labor, business, and philanthropy. Moderator: Speakers:

  • Tefere Gebre, Executive VP, AFL-CIO
  • Alma Salazar, VP of Education and Workforce Development for the LA Chamber (invited)
  • Trang Tu, Program Officer, Gates Philanthropy
  • Maria Elena Durazo, LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
  • Randy Johnson, US Chamber of Commerce

Representation of Immigrants in Film and Media

While Hollywood has made significant in-roads with presenting more diversity on and off the screen, the roles for immigrants are still limited and often reinforce stereotypes. Participants will speak about how they have balanced the demands of the Hollywood while staying true to their own identities. Moderator:

  • Maria Hinojosa -- Maria Hinojosa is an award-winning news anchor and reporter who covers America’s untold stories and highlights today’s critical issues. As the anchor and Executive Producer of NPR’s only Latino news and culture show Latino USA, and anchor and Executive Producer for the upcoming PBS show America By The Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, she has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad.

    Hinojosa has received numerous awards for her work including: four Emmys; the 2012 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism; Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged; the Studs Terkel Community Media Award; the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for best documentary for her ground-breaking “Child Brides: Stolen Lives.”


  • Barkhad Abdi, Actor, Academy Award Nominee -- Barkhad Abdi is a Somali American actor and director. He made his debut in the 2013 film Captain Phillips, for which he received various film award nominations, including Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA, the latter of which he went on to win.
  • Ana Ortiz, Actress, Singer -- The talented and vibrant Ana Ortiz broke out as Hilda Suarez in ABC’s hit comedy Ugly Betty, earning both ALMA and Imagen Awards for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal as Betty’s sassy older sister. Along with her personal recognition, the show has been honored with a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, two Golden Globe awards including Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical, and another 39 wins and 66 nominations. In addition to her recurring roles on ABC’s acclaimed Boston Legal as A.D.A Holly Raines and as Anna in the FX series set in wartime Iraq Over There, Ortiz also starred in the ABC series A.U.S.A and Kristin. She is currently starring in Marc Cherry’s hit show for Lifetime entitled Devious Maids.
  • Ligiah Villalobos, Writer, Actor, Producer -- Ligiah Villalobos is the Writer and Executive Producer of the independent feature film Under the Same Moon, (La Misma Luna), released by Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company. The film was an Official Selection at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and became the highest sale for a Spanish-language film in the history of Sundance. Made for under $2M, the film has earned over $23M worldwide.
  • Diane Guerrero, Actress -- Diane Guerrero is a Colombian-American actress best known for the role of Maritza Ramos on the Netflix web series Orange is the New Black. Guerrero was born in New Jersey to Colombian parents and raised in Boston. As the only American-born child in her family, she remained in America when the rest of her family was deported back to Colombia when she was 14. She has had an interest in acting since a young age and took advantage of free opportunities in the neighborhood or at school. Then she attended Boston Arts Academy, which is a performing arts high school, where she was in the music department. At age 24, she decided to pursue a career in acting. Guerrero’s life experience compels her to advocate for immigration reform and is an influence that she draws upon in her acting.