Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C.
11th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference
While major reform of the U.S. immigration system seems to be at a standstill, issues of immigration policy are very much at the forefront of political debates and the challenges facing the Obama administration, state and local governments, and the country. The 11th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference offered timely policy and legal analysis and discussion on key immigration topics featuring panels with government officials, researchers, advocates, and other immigration experts.
8:15am: Check-In and Registration
9:00: Keynote by The Honorable León Rodríguez, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
9:45: Panel: Immigration Reform on a State and Local Level: How States and Cities Are Pursuing Immigrant Inclusion and Integration Policies
As federal immigration legislation continues to languish, state and municipal governments across the country are forging ahead and taking decisive action to integrate immigrants into their communities. This panel examines different approaches to advancing pro-immigrant laws and policies at the state and local level. Panelists discuss recent measures adopted by city and state governments to expand immigrants’ access to education and health care, limit local involvement in immigration enforcement, and enhance immigrants’ ability to participate in civic life and revitalize local economies.
- Moderator: Jeanne M. Atkinson, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
- Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner, New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
- Hon. Ricardo Lara, Senator, 33rd District, California State Senate
- Steve Tobocman, Director, Global Detroit
11:30: Panel: Executive Action: Policy and Political Implications for the Future
This panel examines the use of executive action in implementing immigration policy, the numbers of those who may potentially be affected by such action, underlying legal issues, any challenges in implementation, and a discussion on the possible political ramifications for future immigration reform policy.
- Moderator: Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute
- Ana Navarro, Republican Political Contributor, CNN and CNN en Español, and ABC News
- Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
- Simon Rosenberg, President and Founder, New Democrat Network (NDN)
- Marc R. Rosenblum, Deputy Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute
2:00: Panel: The Treatment of Unaccompanied Children from Central America
Children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have been coming to the United States without a parent or guardian for many years. In 2008, Congress enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act to provide special protections for this vulnerable population. In recent years, the number of unaccompanied children (UACs) from these countries has increased significantly, culminating in much larger numbers arriving at U.S. borders in 2014. This panel considers several key issues that have arisen with respect to U.S. and regional responses to the cross-border movements of these children, in particular with respect to due process, enforcement actions in the U.S. and Mexico, and Central American government plans to address the violence affecting these children in their home communities.
- Moderator: Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies; Director, Human Rights Institute, Professor from Practice, Georgetown University Law Center
- H.E. Francisco Altschul Fuentes, Ambassador of El Salvador to the United States
- Barbara Leen, Counsel to the Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice
- Maria Woltjen, Lecturer in Law and Director of The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, University of Chicago
3:35: Panel: Immigrant Legal Services Innovations and Challenges in Adjudication: Government-Funded Legal Counsel, Accelerated Court Cases, and Non-Court Removals
The last several years have witnessed extraordinary developments related to the adjudication and representation of persons facing possible removal from the United States. This panel highlights innovative new legal service-delivery programs, including government-funded counsel in New York City, the Immigrant Justice Corps fellowship program, the justice Americorps program, NGO initiatives to represent the growing numbers of unaccompanied child migrants and others. It will discusses challenges related to the accelerated adjudication of proceedings for minors, the expansion in non-court removals, legal representation of persons apprehended near the U.S.-Mexico border, and an economic analysis of government-funded legal counsel in immigration proceedings.
- Moderator: Donald Kerwin, Executive Director, Center for Migration Studies
- Austin T. Fragomen, Partner, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, LLP
- Meredith Linsky, Director, American Bar Association Commission on Immigration
- Hon. Dana Leigh Marks, President, National Association of Immigration Judges
- John Montgomery, Senior Vice President, NERA Economic Consulting