Clinical Law Prof Blog

Editor: Jeffrey R. Baker
Pepperdine University
School of Law

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Chasing Liberty: The Detention of Central American Families in the United States

On Friday February 3, 2017, UDC’s David A. Clarke School of Law will host a day-long conference on the detention of Central American Families in the United States.

The conference will bring together advocates, law students, and academics throughout the nation who have been fighting to end the detention of immigrant families. In June 2014, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reinstituted an abandoned policy of detaining children and their parents seeking asylum in the United States. Families were first held in Artesia, New Mexico, which was accurately described as a “deportation mill,” and now in Dilley and Karnes City, Texas, along with a smaller detention center in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Thousands of children and their mothers have now been held in confinement while their cases are processed, with a small portion of the families held for more than a year.

We will start the day with opening remarks from Professor emeritus, Barbara Hines, followed by a panel tracing the history of family detention and painting a picture of the current detention system. This will be followed by a panel examining the legal and advocacy challenges to the practice of detaining mothers and children, from the Flores case to hunger strikes by the mothers themselves. During lunch, students who have volunteered inside the detention centers from UDC and Lewis & Clark will share their perspectives. After lunch, scholars and advocates will examine the international human rights ramifications of detaining families and of asylum free zones in the United States.  Finally, we will pivot to examine the post-release crisis. How do we ensure adequate representation for asylum-seeking families released from detention? How do we win claims for protection in difficult jurisdictions? We will also examine the lessons learned from the massive national movement built to advocate for detained families and try to replicate our successes in representation in detained and non-detained settings nationwide.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Cecilia Anguiano, Law Student at Lewis & Clark Colle Law School, Portland, Oregon
  • Blaine Bookey, Co-Legal Director, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, San Francisco, CA
  • Bridget Cambria, Partner with Cambria & Kline; Founder, ALDEA People’s Center, Reading, Pennsylvania

  • Kristina Campbell, Professor of Law and Jack and Lovell Olender Director, Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law

  • Dree Collopy, Partner, Benach Collopy LLP, Washington DC

  • Tessa Copeland, Law Student at Lewis & Clark College Law School, Portland, Oregon

  • Melissa Crow, Legal Director at the American Immigration Council

  • Conchita Cruz, Co-Director Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project

  • Andrew Free, Law Office of R. Andrew Free, Nashville, Tennessee

  • Lindsay M. Harris, Assistant Professor of Law, Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law 

  • Barbara Hines, Emerson Fellow and Clinical Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas – Austin

  • Karen Lucas, Associate Director of Advocacy, American Immigration Lawyers Association
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  • Michelle Mendez, Staff Attorney, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc

  • Andrea Meza, Equal Justice Works Fellow & Staff Attorney, RAICES, San Antonio, Texas


  • Lindsay Nash, Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, Cardozo Law

  • Sarah Paoletti, Practice Professor of Law, Director of Transnational Legal Clinic, Penn Law

  • Swapna Reddy, Co-Director, Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project

  • Katie Shepherd, former Managing Attorney of the CARA Project and current Legal Fellow at the American Immigration Council

  • Anita Sinha, Assistant Professor of Law, Director of International Human Rights Clinic, American University Washington College of Law.
  • Maureen Sweeney, Associate Professor, Director of Immigration Clinic, University of Maryland Law School

  • Shana Tabak¸ Visiting Assistant Professor, Georgia State University, College of Law and Global Studies Institute

Registration: Please register for the conference here.

All questions should be directed to Assistant Professor of Law, Lindsay M. Harris at Lindsay.harris@udc.edu

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/clinic_prof/2017/01/chasing-liberty-the-detention-of-central-american-families-in-the-united-states.html

Conferences and Meetings, Immigration, Scholarship | Permalink

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