E.g., 03/04/2024
E.g., 03/04/2024
20th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference
September 18, 2023

Georgetown University main campus (Lohrfink Auditorium) / Online

20th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference

Multimedia Tabs


20th Annual Immigration Law & Policy Conference - Session - State of Play: Dynamism and Disorder - Sept. 18, 2023

20th Immigration Law & Policy Conf.-The States Rise: Florida & Other Governments Expand Their Role in the Immigration Arena-2023

20th Immigration Law & Policy Conf. - The United States & the World: Increasing Migration within the Western Hemisphere- 2023

20th Immigration Law and Policy Conf. Session - Legal Representation as a Tool for Justice – Why Representation Matters - 2023

20th Immigration Law & Policy Conf. Session - Humanitarian Parole & the Biden Administration’s New Lawful Pathways - Sept. 2023

The 20th annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by MPI, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Georgetown University Law Center, features fresh, thoughtful policy and legal analysis, and discussion of some of the top immigration issues by leading government officials, attorneys, researchers, advocates, and other experts. Registration is closed.

9:00 AM ET — Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Anna Marie Gallagher, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
  • Muzaffar Chishti, Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and Director of MPI office at New York University School of Law
  • Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Professor from Practice, Georgetown Law; Co-Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies; Faculty Director, Human Rights Institute, Georgetown Law
  • Katharine Donato, Donald G. Herzberg Professor of International Migration and former Director, Institute for the Study of International Migration, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

9:15 AM ET — State of Play: Dynamism and Disorder
The U.S. immigration policy space has seen a high degree of dynamism—and disorder—over the past year. A raft of new humanitarian and legal immigration policies has been advanced amid record unauthorized arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border, a growing recognition that migration is increasingly hemispheric in nature, the end of a pandemic-era expulsions policy that the government had come to rely upon, and continued congressional inaction on immigration. The courts have been active players, in some cases blocking prominent executive-branch policies. And some states, led by Texas and Florida, have noisily entered the arena. Where is this turbulent period headed? How is the Biden administration executing on its vision for a new post-pandemic strategy at the border and beyond? Is long-standing executive branch pre-eminence on immigration eroding as the courts and states assume greater roles? And where is immigration likely to stand as an issue in upcoming national elections? MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner leads a panel of experts in tackling these and other issues.

  • Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director of U.S. Immigration Policy Program, MPI
  • Ronald Brownstein, Senior Editor, The Atlantic, and Senior Political Analyst, CNN
  • Linda Chavez, Senior Fellow, Open Society, Niskanen Center, and President, Becoming American Initiative
  • Angela Maria Kelley, Chief Advisor, Policy and Partnerships, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)
  • Blas Nuñez-Neto, Assistant Secretary for Border and Immigration Policy and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of International Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

10:30 AM ET — Coffee Break

10:50 AM ET — The States Rise: Florida and Other Governments Expand Their Role in the Immigration Arena
A new era of state policymaking and operational action on immigration has begun, led by Texas and Florida, which set off tensions with state and local officials elsewhere by busing and flying asylum seekers and other migrants from the Texas-Mexico border into the U.S. interior. While state-level involvement in immigration policymaking is not new, the Florida and Texas decisions to drop off migrants in other jurisdictions, often with little to no notice, has raised new tensions between states and city leaders. This panel, moderated by MPI Senior Fellow Muzaffar Chishti and featuring city and NGO leaders and other experts, examines the diverse directions states are going in. Some are advancing immigrants’ rights even as Texas installs buoys on the Rio Grande and encourages other states to send their National Guards to the border. The panel also focuses on how cities such as Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York have addressed the arrivals of tens of thousands of migrants; the provision of services to these newcomers; and the fiscal impacts. 

  • Muzaffar Chishti, MPI Senior Fellow and Director of the MPI office at New York University School of Law
  • Miriam Jordan, National Immigration Correspondent, The New York Times
  • Abel Nuñez, Executive Director, Central American Resource Center (CARECEN)
  • Beatriz Ponce de León, Deputy Mayor of Immigrant, Migrant and Refugee Rights, Office of the Mayor of Chicago 
  • Michael J. Wishnie, William O. Douglas Clinical Professor of Law, Yale Law School

12:10 PM ET — Lunch

1:30 PM ET — KEYNOTE CONVERSATION: The United States & the World: Increasing Migration within the Western Hemisphere
Since 2010, no world region has experienced a greater relative increase in international migration than Latin America and the Caribbean. While much of that migration, driven in part by political and economic crises or natural disasters, has remained within the region, there has been significant movement northward. Governments, including the U.S. government, increasingly have come to realize that migration management and humanitarian protection require regional approaches, as articulated through the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, and have begun efforts to channel migration into lawful pathways and expand protection mechanisms. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have played a vital role in helping structure these efforts across the hemisphere, working with governments and civil-society organizations to build a new but still quite incipient architecture for migration and protection. This armchair conversation with key international organization leaders offers a big-picture view of the approaches to today’s migration flows and humanitarian imperatives. 

  • Diego Chaves-González, Senior Manager, Latin America and Caribbean Initiative, MPI
  • Jon Hoisaeter, Deputy Representative to USA & Caribbean, UNHCR – the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • Vincent Houver, Chief of Mission in Washington, DC, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

2:15 PM ET — Legal Representation as a Tool for Justice – Why Representation Matters 
Full and fair access to immigration legal services is vital to ensure justice for asylum seekers and other migrants seeking protection in the immigration courts or immigration status before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Legal representation is also essential to the effective functioning of the immigration court system, improving outcomes and appearances at all levels—an essential element for a body that is facing more than 2 million pending cases. Resolution of affirmative applications before USCIS and immigration court cases takes years, and the waiting times continue to grow. For poor and low-income immigrants, there is an average of only one legal representative for 1,413 unauthorized persons in the United States and this number varies greatly by state. Panelists discuss the current state of immigration legal services and the growing need for representation. They address the importance of investment in universal representation and the use of innovation and technology to ensure access to justice for those seeking status and protection in the United States. Legal services strengthen the integrity of the institutions which implement U.S. immigration laws and uphold due process and international law principles.  

  • Anna Marie Gallagher, Executive Director, CLINIC
  • Rodrigo Camarena, Director, Justicia Lab
  • Annie Chen, Initiative Director, Advancing Universal Representation, Vera Institute
  • Emmett Soper, Counsel to the Director, Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Wendy Young, President, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

3:30 PM ET — Coffee Break

3:45 PM ET — Humanitarian Parole and the Biden Administration’s New Lawful Pathways
Building on its humanitarian parole programs for the admission of Afghan and Ukrainian nationals, the Biden administration established such a program for Venezuelans in October 2022 and expanded it to include Cuban, Haitian, and Nicaraguan nationals in January 2023.  The “CHNV” humanitarian parole program requires a sponsor in the United States, such as a citizen or lawful permanent resident, and enables the United States to admit up to 30,000 nationals from those four countries every month. The White House announced that it is encouraging individuals “to seek orderly and lawful pathways to migration and reduce overcrowding along the southwest border and the strain on the immigration system.” Due to very high interest in the program, a significant backlog of CHNV applications developed by May 2023. According to one study, the CHNV program has already prevented the entry of hundreds of thousands of unauthorized immigrants along the southern border with Mexico. Among other important issues, the panelists will discuss: What are the successes and challenges of these programs? What will happen to those admitted after the two years of humanitarian parole status expires? To what extent are such parolees applying for asylum or other legal immigration statuses? How are these new lawful pathways affecting the number of arrivals from these countries at the southern border with Mexico? 

  • Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Professor from Practice, Georgetown Law; Co-Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies; Faculty Director, Human Rights Institute, Georgetown Law
  • David J. Bier, Associate Director, Immigration Studies, CATO Institute
  • Dara Lind, Senior Fellow, American Immigration Council
  • Royce Bernstein Murray, Senior Counselor, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

5:00 PM — Conference Concludes

Registration deadline for this event has passed.