Loida Nicolas-Lewis, 2 Others Join MPI Board

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (FAXX/JGL) – Can anyone tell the difference between immigration, with an “i,” and emigration with an “e”?  Any guess? Give up?
Immigration with an “i” means coming and settling in a country. While emigration with an “e” means leaving to live in another country.

This hairline difference of two English words that are often interchangeably used is part of a huge body of work of the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Migration Policy Institute (MPI) that delves into the studies and analysis of immigration and emigration around the world. MPI had appointed Tuesday three new members of its Board of Trustees, including prominent Filipino American businesswoman/philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis.

Bishop Nicholas DeMarzio, chair of the Board of Trustees of MPI, also announced that aside from Lewis, chair and CEO of the investment firm TLC Beatrice, LLC, the other new board of trustees of the MPI are veteran non-profit leader and journalist Louis Freedberg, and former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner James W. Zigler.

According to its website (www.migrationpolicy.org), the MPI is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, D.C., dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels.

Lewis, a former general attorney in the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, assumed leadership of the TLC Beatrice Foods business conglomerate after the death of her husband, noted African-American lawyer and entrepreneur Reginald F. Lewis, in 1993. Two years later, after steering the company to $2 billion in revenue, she was named the most powerful female CEO in America by Working Woman magazine. A native of the Philippines, she is chair emeritus of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), which she helped found. Lewis is a co-founder of the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund (AALDEF), chair of the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation and founder and president of The Lewis College in the Philippines.

Dr. Freedberg is executive director of EdSource, a non-profit organization founded in 1977 that provides research and data on key education challenges in California and nationally. He was previously the founding director of California Watch, an innovative non-profit journalism venture. He spent more than a decade at the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was an award-winning reporter, Washington correspondent, columnist and member of the editorial board with a focus on immigration and education policies. Dr. Freedberg also directed youth programs at Pacific News Service/New America Media. A native of South Africa, he founded and directed the Institute for a New South Africa. He has been a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University, a visiting fellow at the Urban Institute and a fellow at the Institute for Justice and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Former INS Commissioner Zigler, who is an MPI senior fellow, previously served as an advisor to the MPI Board of Trustees. Prior to joining MPI,  Ziglar was president and CEO of Cross Match Technologies. From 1998-2001, he served as Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. Senate, a position in which he served as the Senate’s chief operating officer, top protocol officer and chief law enforcement officer. He left that post in 2001 when President George W. Bush appointed him INS Commissioner, a position he held until December 2002 when the agency was dissolved and its missions transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security. He has more than 40 years of experience in management, finance, law and public policy, spending 17 years as an investment banker and 13 years as a practicing lawyer. He began his law career as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.


“We are delighted and honored that Loida Nicolas Lewis, Louis Freedberg and Jim Ziglar have joined the MPI board, and welcome the unique perspectives they bring to the Institute with their impressive backgrounds in business, philanthropy, journalism, non-profit leadership and administration of federal immigration functions,” said MPI President Demetrios G. Papademetriou.

In its study and analysis of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 posted in its website last month, MPI urged U.S. Congress that is considering the passage of the new immigration reform law, The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, that it would do “well to heed the lessons of the (IRCA) 1986 – both positive and negative – to maximize the potential promise of immigration reform and avoid repeating past mistakes or sparking consequences that, while unintended could have been foreseen.”

MPI cited the United States as the No. 1 among the top 25 countries of Destination or Immigration in the world at 40.8-M, accounting 20% migrant share of the total U.S. population, followed by Russian Federation at 10-M, which make up about 10% of the migrant share of the total population.

MPI has offices in Manila, New York, United Kingdom and a Brussels-based Migration Institute in Europe. Its philosophy says international migration and intelligent management when responsibly administered bring benefits to immigrants and their families, communities of origin and destination and sending and receiving countries.

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