A panel discussion on “Immigration and Border Security”, featuring the Rev. Robin Hoover of Humane Borders, will be presented from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at California State University, Fresno as part of the campus Cesar E. Chavez Celebration.

The panel in the Alice Peters Auditorium in the Peters Business Building (5245 N. Backer Ave). Hoover also will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Peters Auditorium on “Immigration on the Arizona/Mexico Border.” Both session are free and open to the public.

The Chicano/Latin American Studies Department is sponsoring Hoover’s visit in collaboration with the Political Science Department and the College of Social Sciences.

The panel discussion and Hoover’s visit come as the nation is gripped in a debate about immigration and border security. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday approved a comprehensive immigration bill that would create a foreign guest-worker program and put millions of illegal immigrants on track toward permanent residency and U.S. citizenship. The legislation now goes to the full Senate for debate. In December, the House approved a much-harsher bill.

Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of people marched in cities across the country over the issue. One of the largest rallies was in Los Angeles, where busloads of protestors from the Central Valley participated. In downtown Fresno on Monday, high school students also demonstrated.

On the Fresno State panel Wednesday, Rev. Hoover will be joined by:

• Dr. Bruce S. Thornton, Fresno State Classics professor, who is a columnist for the politically conservative Web sites California Republic and Private Papers;

• Leonel Flores from Union de Ex Braceros y de Inmigrantes in Fresno, who organized bus trips from Central California to the Los Angeles protests March 25;

• Anthony Cody of the Catholic Charities Justice for Immigrants campaign in Fresno; and

• Kristina Hernandez, a Fresno State student who participated in the March 25 protest in Los Angeles.

The Rev. Jim Rude from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno initially was scheduled to speak, but withdrew from participation Monday, said event organizer Dr. Kenneth Hansen, a Fresno State political science professor who teaches homeland security. Hansen met Hoover when attended graduate school at Texas Tech University in the mid-1990s.

“This lively debate will feature a wide range of view points and provide an intellectual discourse among people who live and breathe this issue daily,” Hansen said.

Hoover is co-founder and president of Humane Borders, a nonprofit social justice organization that provides humanitarian assistance to migrants crossing the US-Mexico border by placing water stations in the desert and maps to show migrants where to find them during their journey. The organization was founded by Hoover in 2000 to try to prevent the deaths of people crossing the desert. According to Humane Borders, more than 1,000 migrants have died in Southern California and Arizona in the six years ended last August.

Hoover, who pastors the First Christian Church in Tucson, Ariz. is a critic of U.S./Mexico immigration policy. He has established a reputation for helping immigrants fleeing economic disaster at home.

He was interviewed Monday (March 27) for an “ABC World News” report scheduled to air at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday on KFSN, Channel 30.

Thornton, who grew up on a cattle ranch in Fresno County, has written seven books and numerous essays and reviews on Greek culture and civilization and their influence on Western civilization.

He also has written on contemporary political and educational issues, as well as lecturing at venues such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Air Force Academy, and appearing on television shows such as the History Channel, PBS’s “Uncommon Knowledge” and ABC’s “Politically Incorrect.” His online columns can be accessed at www.californiarepublic.org and “Private Papers” at http://victorhanson.com/. He previously wrote for www.frontpagemag.corn/.

Thornton received his B.A. in Latin from UCLA in 1975 and his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature: Greek, Latin and English, from UCLA in 1983.

For more information or to register, call Dr. Carlos Perez, chair of the Chicano/Latin American Studies Department, at 559.278.2848 or Hansen at 559.278-2260.