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Ted Kennedy: A Champion of Immigrants

Question: What were Ted Kennedy’s contributions to immigration reform?

Lenni Benson: Ted Kennedy is the lion, and when I heard of his death, even when I knew he was ill, I felt it strongly because he has been the moral leader in immigration policy. I haven't learned every single thing he ever did in immigration law. There was one lottery program that he created that somehow the Irish got a very high percentage of the visas when it was supposed to be neutral. But he quickly remedied that. We do have something called the Diversity Visa Lottery which is for low-sending countries—nations who don't send a lot of immigrants, [where] people have some education and/or some work experience can enter in a lottery and come to America.

I've met dozens and dozens of people who came from Africa and the former Eastern Soviet block who would never have had an opportunity to come but for Ted Kennedy's lottery. But his real legacy, I think, in immigration is that he was willing, as are many leaders in this field, to see that immigration is neither Democrat nor Republican.

He built bridges across party lines. John McCain is an example where, I'm sure Senator McCain would easily say he respected Ted Kennedy and immigration. He understood this is neither free-market or exploiting labor, that there is complexity of discussion, and he trained regions of very talented lawyers and non-lawyers and his staff on the judiciary committee and the subcommittee on immigration policy. They are in the Obama Administration, they are in labor unions, they are in state government; those people are continuing.

He created a wave of educated, sophisticated people who know that to talk about immigration, we need to have a quiet thoughtful, in-depth conversation and not just a political sound-bite war.

Recorded on: August 31, 2009

New York Law Professor and immigration expert Lenni Benson praises Ted Kennedy for empowering a generation of immigrants by spearheading bipartisan political reforms.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

Parenting could be a distraction from what mattered most to him: his writing.

Ernest Hemingway Holding His Son 1927 (Wikimedia Commons)
Culture & Religion

Ernest Hemingway was affectionately called “Papa," but what kind of dad was he?

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The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

Videos
  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
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Masturbation boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infection and illness

Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Image by Yurchanka Siarhei on Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
  • Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
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Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

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