Friday, November 9, 2012
"When immigrant families become subject to a family court’s jurisdiction, the court’s services, its traditional “best interests” legal standard and its rulings frequently must be considered and effectuated from a different perspective. Undocumented and permanent residents face potential severe consequences to findings with which citizens need not contend, such as detention in an immigration facility, deportation to another country and permanent geographical separation from their families. These ramifications compound the challenges already faced by many families served by family courts. At the same time, family court involvement can often create opportunities for immigration relief for the survivors of abuse, neglect, abandonment and domestic violence whom the court serves.
This symposium will examine this vital and frequently complex interplay of immigration issues and family court matters; explore the statutory and ethical obligations for judges, practitioners and agencies that result from that interplay; and discuss ways that the family court can better serve immigrant youth and families. Sessions will focus on practice issues and policies and will include interactive group sessions and panel presentations."