Sunday, June 7, 2009
At the American Immigration Lawyers Conference in Las Vegas, Professor David Koelsch (Detriot Mercy) received the Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award. Koelsch is an assistant professor and director of the Immigration Law Clinic and the Asylum Law Clinic at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. The Immigration Law Clinic represents low-income immigrants, abandoned immigrant children, and abused immigrant women. Students also perform outreach services among Michigan’s diverse immigrant communities and work to mitigate the negative effects of raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on immigrant communities.
Professor Koelsch also teaches Immigration Law and worked with Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy PLLC to pilot a unique hands-on seminar regarding practical skills needed for business immigration lawyers. He also founded the 30-member Immigration Law Students Association at UDM Law School and arranges for regular guest speakers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Detroit Immigration Court, and AILA members.
Professor Koelsch authored a provocative article entitled, "Panic in Detroit: The Impact of Immigration Reforms on Urban African Americans," 5 Geo. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 447(2007).
In addition, the Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award In Recognition of Outstanding Service in Advancing the Cause of Human Rights Recipient was given to two winners, including Erik Camayd-Freixas, Director, Translation and Interpretation Program Florida International University. Camayd-Freixas wrote "Interpreting After the Largest ICE Raid in U.S. History: A Personal Account" (June 13, 2008) which brought the realities of the Postville raid to the attention of the world. According to AILA, "[a]s a certified court interpreter who participated in the courtroom proceedings and in interviews with the defendants by defense counsel, Erik’s essay about the Postville raid gave a voice to the workers and their families, who otherwise would have had no way of speaking out so eloquently and forcefully against the outrage they endured."