West Virginia University has three experts who are available this week to discuss immigration reform, its impact on college campuses and on the U.S.

They are:

  • Michael Blumenthal, visiting professor of law and director of the Immigration Clinic at the College of Law
  • Doina Jikich, associate director, Immigration Services, WVU’s Office of International Students and Scholars
  • Grace Atebe, assistant director, WVU’s Office of International Students and Scholars

Bipartisan groups in both the Senate and the House of Representatives are expected to introduce comprehensive immigration reform bills over the next two weeks. Future policy will affect the U.S.’s ability to attract, retain and educate the world’s leading minds.

Also, leaders from institutions of higher learning across the country, including WVU, are participating in a “University Day of Action” April 19 to bring attention to the importance of immigration issues. The event is being held in conjunction with the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan coalition of more than 500 CEOs and mayors making the economic case for immigration reform, and the National Immigration Forum, one of the nation’s leading immigration advocacy organizations.

Blumenthal earned his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1974 and was formerly director of creative writing at Harvard. He has written numerous books of poems and essays and his novel, “Weinstock Among The Dying,” won Hadassah Magazine’s Harold U. Ribelow Prize for the best work of Jewish fiction.

Jikich deals with visa issues, temporary and permanent employment-based visas and identity documents for the Office of International Students and Scholars.

Atebe deals with students’ transitioning to WVU and the U.S.

Contact information:

michael.blumenthal@mail.wvu.edu, 304.293.6835

doina.jikich@mail.wvu.edu 304-293-5950

grace.atebe@mail.wvu.edu 304-293-5937

For assistance in setting up interviews, contact John Bolt at University Relations/News , 304.293.5520, john.bolt@mail.wvu.edu; or Dan Shrensky, University Relations/News, 304.293.8031, dan.shrensky@mail.wvu.edu