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Top prospective freshmen formulate ideas on reducing illegal immigration in the United States
Top prospective freshmen formulate ideas on reducing illegal immigration in the United StatesApril 20, 2007Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
On Saturday, April 21, 100 of Syracuse University’s prospective freshmen will present their ideas on policies to reduce illegal immigration at the 62nd annual Citizenship Education Conference sponsored by the Public Affairs Program at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The participants have applied and been accepted for the Fall 2007 semester. The top 25 students in the competition will win a total of $224,000 in scholarships.
The event will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., beginning with morning sessions in Maxwell and Eggers halls. The participants then move to Goldstein Auditorium in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center for a luncheon and awards ceremony.
Many of the policy proposals submitted by the students supported policies now being considered by the federal government, such as temporary worker programs, beefed up security, and sanctions against employers for hiring illegal immigrants. Among the other student proposals:
- tightening housing codes to prevent undocumented immigrants from renting;
- enhancing local police enforcement to assist the federal government;
- using advanced technology and allocating more funding for the US-VISIT program to prevent overstays of the more than 360 million visitors to the United States each year;
- creating a Marshall Plan for Mexico;
- and tightening controls on money transfers out of the United States.
The papers, which are graded prior to the conference, must recommend a government action that the students think should be considered. The proposed public policies can require state or federal action. Each paper contains an overview of the student’s stand on the issue; an explanation of the problems addressed and the proposed solution; a description of financial, legislative and administrative requirements the policy must meet; and a plan for evaluating the costs and benefits of the policy.
Half of each student’s score is based on the written analysis of the policy issue. The remainder is determined by the student’s ability to persuade his or her peers to support their proposed public policy. Students present their proposals to small peer groups, which discuss and rate the presentations.
“I decide their paper score using the standards employed in my freshman course, but their peers decide the other 50 percent, which is a measure of the degree to which their peers see them as leaders,” says William D. Coplin, professor of public affairs in The College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School and organizer of the event. “They need to do whatever it takes to impress their peers — whether it be with their knowledge, leadership style or ability to communicate.”
The student with the highest score will be awarded an annual scholarship of $5,000. The second-highest scorer will receive a $4,000 annual scholarship, and the third-highest scorer will receive a $3,000 annual scholarship. The next 22 highest scorers will each win $2,000 annual scholarships.
The Maxwell School of Syracuse University, founded in 1924, is the premier academic institution in the United States committed to scholarship, civic leadership and education in public and international affairs. Maxwell is home to Syracuse University’s social science departments and to numerous nationally recognized multidisciplinary graduate programs in public policy, international studies, social policy and conflict resolution. Maxwell’s graduate program in public administration — the first of its kind — is ranked consistently the best in the nation.