CLS: Home: Immigration Past & Present

Reflect on the history of immigration in the United States and how policy and practices have changed over time.

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah

Tuesday, Aug. 1, 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 2  | Orchestra Hall

Krish is the President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. She previously served in the Obama White House as Policy Director for First Lady Michelle Obama and at the State Department as Senior Advisor under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Krish has committed her career to public service because she knows how differently life could have turned out. Krish was 9-months old when she and her family escaped a country on the brink of civil war and built a life in Maryland. Her parents came to this country with no jobs and $200 in their pockets.

Krish is a graduate from Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County and then attended Yale College, where she earned a Master’s degree in Political Science and a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, where she received an M.Phil. in International Relations, before returning to Yale Law School, where she served on the Yale Law Journal.

Krish’s interest in public service and grassroots politics began at an early age. In elementary school, Krish went knocking door to door with her mother in support of Senator Barbara Mikulski when she won her historic first race for the Senate. In college, Krish worked for another great public servant when she spent her summer back from college working for Senator Paul Sarbanes.

At the White House, Krish served as Policy Director for Michelle Obama and led the First Lady’s signature Let Girls Learn initiative. At the State Department, she coordinated development and implementation of multiple programs including those concerning refugees and migration, engagement with religious communities, the legal dimensions of U.S. foreign policy, and regional issues relating to Africa and the Middle East.  She worked closely with USAID, Health & Human Services and the Department of Defense.

Before joining the White House, Krish practiced law at Jenner & Block in Washington, DC, clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and taught at Georgetown University as an adjunct. She has been recognized as one of The Daily Record’s “Top 100 Women” and serves on the Advisory Committee of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration.

Krish and her husband, Collin O’Mara are the parents of a young daughter, Alana.

Eugenio Mollo Jr.

“Immigration Law Overview and Current Topics in Immigration Law and Policy”

Thursday, Aug. 3, 10:30 a.m. | Orchestra Hall

This session provides an overview of different immigration statuses, including U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency, refugee/asylee, various visa categories and temporary statuses and undocumented status. Participants will learn about the different eligibility requirements for these different statuses, and what recent measures have been enacted by the executive branch, including DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), Uniting for Ukraine and expanded Temporary Protected Status designations. It will cover family, employment and humanitarian-based immigration benefits and protections. Northern and southern border policy, and its impact on Ohio will also be discussed. The presenter aspires that this lecture will be valuable for participants who wish to engage in an informed debate on current issues involving immigration law and policy.

Mollo is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law and the inaugural director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at the University of Toledo College of Law. Mollo joined the College of Law in 2016 as an Adjunct Professor to teach Immigration Law courses. He joined the full-time faculty in 2022. In 2006, he began his legal career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) in Toledo, a nonprofit law firm that represents low-income individuals and groups to achieve equal justice and opportunity. From 2013-2022, he served as the managing attorney of the Agricultural Worker and Immigrant Rights practice group. He led and oversaw projects that provided legal assistance to migrant farmworkers, people in removal proceedings, unaccompanied children, refugee survivors of torture and other vulnerable immigrant populations. Mollo earned his B.A. from the University of Illinois and his J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law.

Glenn Schweitzer

Iranian Scientists: An Uncertain Future

Thursday, Aug. 3, 3:30 p.m. | Orchestra Hall

During decades of demonstrations in Iran, threats of nuclear progress, and Iranian leadership’s hostility toward the West, immigration flow from Iran to the United States has nevertheless remained significant in recent years. All the while the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has continued to support scientific exchanges with Iran from which each side gains new expertise in civil and domestic issues. With recent protests in Iran, international sanctions and other difficulties in engaging with Iranian scientists, what might be the effect on immigration and on an overall willingness to continue collaboration and exchanges?

Glenn Schweitzer is Program Director for Cooperation with Eastern Europe  and Eurasia of the National Academy of Sciences  in Washington, D.C. For more than 30 years, he has organized and managed individual and group science-oriented exchange programs involving many countries of the region. Prior to 2022, these cooperative programs emphasized initiating short-term U.S.-Iranian and U.S-Russian collaborations. They involved more than 4,000 carefully selected scientists from the three countries. More recently, very few exchanges have been carried out, and lessons learned during the most recent visits are being prepared and published. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the California Institute of Technology. Early in his career, he was a member of the U.S. Foreign Service. Schweitzer is the author of 12 books.


Jul 31, 2023 - Aug 04, 2023

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/Denver
  • Date: Jul 31, 2023 - Aug 04, 2023


QR Code