Lecture details importance of immigration

Rice University Sociology Professor and Kinder Institute Co-Director Stephen Klineberg rebuked Texas’ austere immigration policies and emphasized the potential of increased diversity in Houston in a presentation Wednesday afternoon in the UH Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall.

“No city has benefitted more from immigration than us,” Klineberg said. “America’s future is here in Houston now.”

The Harvard graduate recounted 30 years of demographic and economic surveys in Harris County composed by the Kinder Institute. In the wake of the oil business bust of the mid-1980s, Klineberg said, the new source of Houston wealth will be biotechnology and nanotechnology. Houston’s diversity will play an integral role in realizing this future.

Citing statistics showing rapidly increasing minority and immigrant populations in Houston, Klineberg described current US immigration policy as “immoral and dysfunctional,” and said that embracing and properly educating the immigrant labor force is necessary for the nation’s advancement.

“This is a done deal,” Klineberg said. “Close the borders tomorrow, build your fence so not another immigrant will ever be allowed to come to these shores; no force in the world will stop Houston diversity.

“Every business in Houston that doesn’t figure out how to capitalize on the burgeoning diversity of (the city) will find it harder to advance as the 21st century unfolds.”

Following his lecture, he engaged the 15 attendees in some brief Q-and-A. When asked if the US can effectively take advantage of diversity at a time when many minority children receive substandard education, Klineberg referenced Houston’s Knowledge Is Power Program as one possible formula for success.

“If we don’t turn (substandard education) around now in this generation, it’s very hard to envision a successful America,” Klineberg said. “If we don’t do this we will become a Third World country and a Third World city.”

The presentation kicked off a month-long series hosted by Janice Hutchinson and the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies, on topics such as, “Race: Are We So Different?”

Hutchinson will host additional lectures on Wednesday, as well as Nov. 9, 16 and 30 in PGH room 232. The lecture series was created in conjunction with a corresponding exhibit on display until Jan. 1, 2012, at the John P. McGovern Museum of Health & Medical Science.

Klineberg joined Rice University’s sociology department in 1972 after receiving degrees at Haverford College, the University of Paris and Harvard.

He has received 10 teaching awards including the George R. Brown Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The creator of the now 29-year-strong Houston Annual Survey, Klineberg ended his presentation with survey results showing increasingly progressive attitudes toward an ethnic society.

“We have a tremendous challenge to ensure that we can build a truly successful, inclusive, multiethnic society,” Klineberg said.

“With your education at UH you have a responsibility to reach out to kids and show them what’s possible.”

[email protected]



    E-verify is a commitment by all honest politicians, with an answer to every American workers prayer. The Representative Judicial Ways & Means chairman Smith, has a need for more sponsors to pass the ‘Legal Workforce Act. It is guaranteed to remove illegal aliens from the job market, and make all business owners under federal obligation or face serious sanctions, which before a district judge could carry hefty fines, business property confiscation and without the exclusion of a prison term.

    The E-Verify program is possible the greatest deterrent against the illegal alien invasion and it will inhibit—the labor and consequently the family with instant citizenship children born to illegal aliens and smuggled into this country. Nobody should get any special privilege in education tuition or health care, especially—ILLEGAL ALIENS. Of course it is demonized by the so called ‘progressives’—AS E-VERIFY WORKS!

    We have seen the consequences of illegal immigration, that throughout the last 25 years, that without the real 2006 Secure Fence Act by lacking any true enforcement within our sovereign country, we have been overrun and occupied. The costs to support the economic invasion of 20 million plus people, represents a failure of numerous administrations. No need to go into the financial ramifications of this terrible epidemic, as everybody knows the expenditure could pay for a small countries surplus. It’s in the hundreds of billions, which you can study at the Heritage Foundation website. Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann or any GOP hardliners or moderate, hoping in the next year to attain the presidency better have an answer for the illegal immigration invasion and not—MASS AMNESTY?
    E-Verify or the ‘Legal Workforce Act (Bill H.R. 2885) needs every lawmakers attention and every American needs to call or fax their representative in Washington, and hope they have not yet been corrupted by special interest lobbyists, that swarm like bloated insidious flies in the halls of Congress. NumbersUSA has a free faxing service that is available to every legal resident or citizen. You also have the option of calling Washington yourself at 202-224-3121.

    This is a critical time before the 2012 election, and requires enough House Representatives to sponsor this bill in the next session.

    Environmentalists need to open their eyes to the mounds of garbage, left by drug packers, illegal aliens and the tracks of other criminals, finding their way across the border. Instead of complaining about some frog or plant, they should go and clean up the effluence.

    To repeat, illegal aliens have been voting in our elections. The TEA PARTY will be scrutinizing electoral rolls, registration and absentee ballots.

    • On the environmental bit, how much about the environment do you know? Complaining about some frog or plant (which I'm guessing you're talking about preserving native/endangered species or biodiversity) is one thing, and littering issues are another. Plus I'm quite sure littering is an issue that affects all people, not just environmentalists. Litter affects water supplies, water flow in sewers, build-up of mosquito breeding zones, property values, and then of course the natural ecosystem.

      I'm not disagreeing about the issue of illegal aliens being an issue, but your whole bit on the environment just seems poorly thought out.

Leave a Comment