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Oral history interview with Frank Sharry, 2013.

Creator: Sharry, Frank
Project: Carnegie Corporation project. Pt. 3.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :transcript 125 pages. sound recording 1 digital audio file (87 min.). sound recording 1 digital audio file (89 min.).
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
Full CLIO record >>

Biographical Note

Executive Director of America's Voice Education Fund.

Scope and Contents

Discussion of Irish and Italian immigrant background; undergraduate experience and activism at Princeton University; work for American Council for Nationalities Service in Singapore: experience at refugee camps in Indonesian islands, recollection of later encounter with refugee family in U.S.; work at Centro Presente in Cambridge, Mass. beginning 1986: sense of immigrant rights as life's work, effects of 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, discussion of problems with system including employer sanctions, need for temporary protected status for refugees including Salvadoreans; position as executive director of National Immigration Forum starting in 1990; success of lobbying in Congress through 1990s; impressions of Geraldine P. Mannion; effects of September 11, 2001 on immigration policy debate; positive outlook for immigration reform in 2005-2006; involvement in 2007 "Grand Bargain": bipartisan backroom negotiations, reactions from right and left, factors in failure of bill, impressions of Edward M. Kennedy; founding of America's Voice Education Fund in 2008: four pillars of policy change, need for focus on media and communications, role of funding from Carnegie Corporation of New York and Geraldine P. Mannion; partnership with local and national organizations; challenge of anti-immigration groups; call for reform legislation in 2010; passage of harsh state laws against undocumented immigrants and subsequent Supreme Court ruling in 2012; discussion of status of undocumented immigrants at time of interview: need for path to citizenship, public perception, policies under Obama administration; discussion of 2012 presidential election: successful activism of DREAMers, importance of Latino vote; elements of ideal comprehensive immigration reform bill: path to citizenship, citizenship verification at point of hire, improvements to legal immigration system; predictions for future victory.


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