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The Citizen

Kennedy School MPP1s Tackle Immigration Reform

By Alen AminiSpringExercise

Harvard Kennedy School MPP1 candidates have spent the past two weeks addressing immigration reform in the United States as part of their first year capstone, spring exercise.

Students, in diverse groups of 5-6 first year classmates, are tasked with analyzing employment, family, diversity, and refugee based visa allotments for immigrants seeking legal permanent residence in the United States. The first few days consisted of panels bringing together immigration experts from government agencies, NGOs, and academia in the JFK Jr. Forum, followed by ten days of time allotted to group work. The exercise avoids addressing undocumented immigration explicitly.

Spring exercise is designed to allow students to use their first year core education in economics, statistics, ethics, and management, leadership, and decision-making to address major policy issues. In previous years, students were tasked with addressing pandemics and educational inequity.

The experience culminates in groups presenting their findings to Senators Grassley (R- Iowa) and Leahy (D – Vermont), played by various Kennedy School faculty members, mirroring actually policy debriefs to political figures.

After comprehensively solving immigration reform in the United States, many first year MPP students will resume studying for their final exams during the first week of May.