In a move demonstrating the capability for bipartisanship, the College Democrats and College Republicans came together last Saturday, March 2 to discuss and attempt to decide the best possible way to solve the current immigration crisis in the United States.
Two groups of four students each had three hours to hash out details for a presentation on what they felt would be the best way to address immigration reform, an issue that is being heavily debated on the Congress floor today. After their presentations, students in attendance voted on the winner.
“It was a friendly competition meant to add pressure on the groups to come together and produce something strong at the end of the three hours,” president of College Democrats and senior Andrew Cutillo said.
The winning presentation focused on the welfare system being able to support the nation’s immigrants and foster a productive society. The other presentation included alternative means of obtaining expedited citizenship via military service or a formal education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
“While the groups differed on the focus of their solutions, there were a number of similarities,” Cutillo said. “Each group had a plan to improve border security, and each group included special provisions to promote STEM jobs.”
“Their presentations were impressively detailed and showed commitment to a bipartisan result that both sides are happy with,” president of College Republicans and senior Jason Russell said.
At least 30 people attended the presentation portion of the event, which was held in Room 321 of Morey Hall. Both Cutillo and Russell were satisfied with the turnout.
“We were ultimately happy with the number of participants,” Cutillo said. “This was meant to be a deep discussion for those few who wanted it and a broader presentation for those who were peripherally curious, and that’s exactly what we ended up with.”
While there was obviously plenty to debate during the event, the notion of a bipartisan solution was heavily stressed.
“A bipartisan national solution to the immigration issue is especially important because both sides want to protect key components of the debate,” Russell explained. “Bipartisan solutions are often the ones that moderate and independent Americans are looking for.”
“This event was a conscious step towards fostering a generation of collaborative political problem solvers and a symbol to the larger community that all hope is not lost,” Cutillo said.
Fox is a member of the class of 2013.