Seats fill for immigration film and discussion

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    About 250 people filled seats and lined the stairs of a lecture hall Wednesday evening for a film screening and a roundtable discussion on immigration.Bonnie Frederick, chair of the Spanish department, said the screening of 3A Day Without a Mexicaný and the four-person roundtable discussion in the Sid Richardson Building were initiated by Bonnie Blackwell, an assistantprofessor in the English department and director of graduate studies.

    3There is not one single issue in which immigrant labor is not a factor,ý Frederick said. 3This is not an easy, simple issue, and anyone who says OI have a simple answer1 really doesn1t understand the debate.ý

    At any time, about one-eigth of all TCU students are enrolled in a Spanish class, Frederick said. She added that she encourages students to research the immigration debate and to stay informed.

    John Singleton, director of international student services, said he had originally planned to show the film next year, but changed the schedule at Blackwell1s request because the immigration debate is relevant.

    Mar¡a Ibarra, a freshman movement science major and one of the panelists, said she came to the United States illegally with her parents. Ibarra said it took her family 10 years before they became legal United States citizens.

    3We come here because, in M‚xico, we don1t have anything,ý Ibarra said.

    Tammy G¢mez, a poet and community activist, was also one of the four guests on the post-film, roundtable discussion.

    3It1s easy to put a demonic face on someone or something that is uncomfortable,ý G¢mez said. 3Please, remember we1re talking about human people.ý

    One crowd member said he thought the term 3minorityý was divisive.

    Another crowd member, who said she was an immigrant herself, said she only agreed with legal immigration, and not illegal immigration.

    Juan Hern ndez, former adviser to Mexico President Vicente Fox, was scheduled to serve as a panelist but did not attend.