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2016 Carl A. Scott Memorial


Luis H. Zayas, PhD
Dean of the School of Social Work 
Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy
University of Texas at Austin


Putting Social Justice in Immigration Policy: What We Can Do

The immigration enforcement policy and practices undertaken by the United States in the past two decades has had far-reaching consequences. Much of it has affected the health and mental health of immigrants and their U.S.-born children, and of refugees seeking asylum from the violence and lawlessness of their countries in Central America. These policies and practices have had the effect of violating human rights and turning our backs on social justice. In this lecture, Luis H. Zayas has two objectives. One is to present research on how contemporary immigration policy harms children and families and damages the future of our country. The other objective is to demonstrate how advocacy can be pursued through not just through research and teaching but by applying our practice skills, participating in legal action, and engaging publicly through the news media. Drawing from his experience, Zayas encourages young faculty in social work, regardless of field of endeavor, to take their scholarship from the classroom and professional journal to the courthouse and legislature, places where they can truly make a difference. 


Luis H. Zayas, PhD, is Dean of the School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin where he holds the Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy.  In a career of practice, research, and teaching that spans 40 years, Zayas has focused on the mental health and development of disadvantaged, urban racial and ethnic minority children, adolescents, and families.  Behind his ongoing practice with immigrants and refugees and his advocacy is a passion for seeing social justice and equity be the norm in our country.  His most recent book, Forgotten Citizens: Deportation, Children, and the Making of American Exiles and Orphans (Oxford, 2015), reflects the impact that aggressive (and immoral) immigration enforcement policies and practices undertaken by the U.S. has on citizen-children and their undocumented parents and siblings.  Zayas is a vocal advocate for ending the detention of asylum-seeking children and families from Central America.  

Nov 4, 2016
8:45 AM – 10:00 AM

Time Item
8:45 AM 2016 Carl A. Scott Memorial Lecture