Immigration talk to kick off Great Decisions series


A dominant foreign policy of President Donald Trump has been combatting Mexican and Central American undocumented immigration. Mexican immigration began declining about 2008 while that from the Northern Triangle —El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — has risen dramatically since 2013.

According to analysts, this “vast increase” is due to “widespread violence and criminality, rampant poverty and unemployment amid a demographic boom, a desire to join family members already in the U.S., and the corruption and weakness of state institutions.”

How the United States has responded will be the topic of the opening session of the Great Decisions Free Community Discussion Series on U.S. Foreign Policy on Friday, Feb. 14, with a talk on “U.S. Relations with the Northern Triangle: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras” by Erinn Nicley, an instructor with the department of political science at Western Governors University. He earned his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Illinois in 2012.

Prior to his academic career, Nicley was a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. As a diplomat, Nicley had a professional focus on democracy promotion, human rights, anti-corruption, and national security. Before joining Western Governors University in 2014, Nicley taught part-time for several years at The Ohio State University, University of Illinois, and other institutions. He received teaching awards at Western Governors University and the University of Illinois.

All Great Decisions meetings begin at noon in the Fellowship Hall of the William Street United Methodist Church, 28 W. William St., Delaware. Attendees are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch. Coffee and tea are provided.

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Available for purchase is a booklet with articles about this year’s eight topics, compiled by the Foreign Policy Association, which originated the nationwide Great Decisions program in 1954. The Delaware County District Library’s main location in Delaware and the Orange branch make the booklet available to Delaware county readers. The library has created and offers copies of a bibliography of important books on current international affairs. It can also be found at

Audience participants will have the option of completing a survey, prepared by the Foreign Policy Association, to add their opinions to thousands of others across the nation. Survey results will be made available to Washington decision-makers.

The topic for the Friday, Feb. 21, discussion is “Artificial Intelligence and Data” featuring David Staley, associate professor, history; director, The Humanities Institute, The Ohio State University.


Special to The Gazette

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