The ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) & Commission on Immigration (COI) invite you to attend our first Pro Bono Symposium! We seek to facilitate learning about pro bono program management and to feature advocates working in pro bono programs across the nation. Presenters will share their experience and expertise in pro bono programs working with volunteers and/or pro bono attorneys. This will be a virtual event, via Zoom, spread over two half days.
Immigration Law Myths and Realities: An Overview of the Limited Pathways to Legal Status in the U.S.
This webinar is designed to offer reliable information surrounding lawful pathways to legal status in the US. There are pathways to legal status through employment, family reunification, humanitarian protection, and more, but many people who desire to immigrate or adjust to lawful status simply do not qualify.
Employment Authorization for Asylum-Seekers in Removal Proceedings
An informative webinar on how to help your clients apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) while seeking asylum in removal proceedings. Panelists discussed common issues impacting (c)(8) EADs, including the asylum clock and prosecutorial discretion.
Citizens of Nowhere Representing Stateless Clients in Immigration Court
As “citizens of nowhere,” stateless people face unique obstacles that may present novel challenges, even to experienced immigration lawyers. This training will discuss particular issues faced by stateless people and offer best practices on how to represent stateless individuals seeking immigration relief.
Join us for a presentation and conversation on the causes of statelessness, the obstacles faced by stateless people, the advocacy strategy to end statelessness, and what the legal community can do to close the education and representation gap.
Common Forms of Immigration Relief for Family Groups and How to Screen for Them
In this virtual training, expert immigration attorneys provide a overview of common forms of immigration relief for family groups facing removal or deportation and share successful strategies in screening family group clients.
What to Expect for Immigration from the 118th Congress: A Bipartisan Conversation with Former Congressional Staffers
After two years of Democratic control of both the legislative and executive branches, the country is moving towards a divided government as the Republicans have regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives. House Republicans have promised to increase immigration oversight and possibly pursue the impeachment of U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. But even as immigration issues become an increasingly visible flashpoint, is it possible to pass any meaningful immigration legislation in the 118th Congress? Or will immigration be used as a wedge issue between both political parties? Join former House staff for Speaker Paul Ryan and Committee on House Administration Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren for a discussion on what we might expect.
Immigration Pro Bono: You Don’t Need to Know It All on Day One
Webinar | November 10, The presentation aims to deliver tailored guidance for advocates considering immigration cases or those who have current immigration cases and are looking for additional resources and guidance.
Webinar | September 27 The presentation aims to deliver tailored guidance for advocates who may be encountering cases where there is already a final decision, but new information provides a reason for the immigration judge to revisit the case.
Accelerated Timelines: Evidence Gathering & Making Your Case with Expert for Cases on the Dedicated Docket
Webinar | August 17 The presentation aims to deliver tailored guidance for advocates navigating evidence gathering and assistance from experts in the comparatively short timeline provided to dedicated docket cases
Making a Virtual Connection: Ensuring an Open and Productive Attorney/Client Relationship While Remote
Webinar | May 24 The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Immigration invites you to a complimentary training providing an overview of best practices for connecting with clients in a remote setting. This is a presentation geared toward attorneys interested in taking a remote pro bono immigration case, practitioners with a remote pro bono case, and practitioners new to immigration law working remotely.
The Lifeguard is Drowning: Identifying and Combating Burnout and Secondary Trauma in Asylum Practitioners
Webinar | April 7 Asylum attorneys have been facing a longstanding mental health crisis. The pandemic, sweeping regulatory changes, and uncertainty created deeper dimensions of stress in an already chaotic immigration system. To address this crisis, in 2020, Professors Lindsay Harris and Hillary Mellinger surveyed over 700 immigration attorneys utilizing the National Asylum Attorney Burnout and Secondary Traumatic Stress Survey. Their groundbreaking study found that asylum attorneys displayed symptoms of burnout and Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) at rates higher than immigration judges, social workers, hospital doctors, nurses, and prison wardens. Asylum attorneys reported burnout symptoms including not only depression, but boredom, cynicism, discouragement, and a loss of compassion. Notably, STS symptoms mirror Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which include intrusive thoughts, traumatic nightmares, insomnia, chronic irritability, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and hypervigilance.
Mechanics of Immigration Court Part 3: The Individual Calendar/Merits Hearing
Join the ABA Commission on Immigration for the third session in our three-part series on the Mechanics of Immigration Court. This series covers the nuts and bolts of how to practice in immigration court. Part 3 focuses on the Individual Hearing. Topics include tips and strategies for prepare for the hearing, how to advocate with OPLA and conduct prehearing discussions, best practices for WebEx and Open Voice hearings, a roadmap of how to conduct an individual hearing, and how to preserve the record for appeal. Panelists include expert immigration attorneys and a former immigration judge, and their insights and tips are invaluable! This webinar is designed for pro bono attorneys and immigration practitioners who are new to immigration law, or for anyone who wants to brush up on their practical skills.
Asylum for Afghans 202: Anatomy of the Asylum Interview
March 15 Webinar | Join HIAS and the ABA Commission on Immigration on Tuesday, March 15th from 3:00-4:30pm ET, for the final webinar in a series of presentations for attorneys and accredited representatives representing Afghan Parolees seeking asylum. In this advanced asylum training, we will discuss best practices for how to prepare for the asylum interview, including what steps to take as an attorney, and how to conduct effective practice interviews with your client. We will specifically address issues that commonly arise in asylum cases filed by members of the Afghan community. Our expert panel will include Cynthia Groomes Katz, Supervising Attorney at HIAS (and former asylum officer!) and Lindsay Harris, Professor of Law, Associate Dean of Clinical & Experiential Program, and Director of the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia Law School. You will also hear about opportunities to assist these families through the partnership between HIAS and the ABA Commission on Immigration.
Asylum for Afghans 201: Bars to Asylum and Common Concerns
March 4 Webinar | Join HIAS and the ABA Commission on Immigration on Friday, March 4th from 1:30-3:00pm ET, for the third webinar in a series of presentations for attorneys and accredited representatives representing Afghan Parolees seeking asylum. In this advanced asylum training, we will address issues that commonly arise in asylum cases filed by members of the Afghan community, including bars to asylum that may be relevant for Afghans who lived under Taliban rule, as well as other terrorism-related concerns. Our expert panel will include Parastoo Zahedi, a private immigration attorney and leader in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) with over 25 years of experience serving the immigrant community, and Faiza Sayed, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Safe Harbor Clinic at Brooklyn Law School (and former Refugee Officer!). You will also hear about opportunities to assist these families through the partnership between HIAS and the ABA Commission on Immigration.
Representing Children and Families in Immigration Court
March 3 Webinar | The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Commission on Immigration and the ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) invite you to a complimentary training providing an overview of working with children and families in immigration cases. This is a presentation geared toward attorneys interested in taking on a pro bono immigration case, practitioners with a pro bono case, and practitioners new to immigration law. This is a collaborative training co-hosted by the ABA COI and CILA.
Operation Lone Star: Texas’s Costly Attempt to Enforce Federal Immigration Law
Webinar February 28 | Almost one year ago, on March 6, 2021, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott announced the creation of ‘Operation Lone Star,’ his self-proclaimed “catch and jail” border security initiative. This program deploys Texas Department of Public Safety and National Guard troops to the border region to arrest and jail migrants in unprecedented numbers, on misdemeanor charges (mostly trespassing), and jails them for weeks or months before handing them over to immigration authorities.
Mechanics of Immigration Court Part 2: Corroboration, Preparing Witnesses, and Working with Experts
Part 2 explores corroboration, preparing witnesses, and working with experts. Topics to be covered include gathering evidence and the REAL ID act, how to put together country conditions reports, preparing credible witnesses, how to use experts, and planning ahead to prepare for the individual hearing. This webinar is designed for pro bono attorneys and immigration practitioners who are new to immigration law, or for anyone who wants to brush up on their practical skills.
Mechanics of Immigration Court Part I: The Master Calendar Hearing and Filing Applications for Relief with Immigration Court
Join the ABA Commission on Immigration for a 3-part series on the Mechanics of Immigration Court. This series covers the nuts and bolts of how to practice in immigration court. Part I takes an in depth look at the Master Calendar Hearing and Filing Applications for Relief with Immigration Court. Topics to be covered include reviewing the Notice to Appear, getting your client’s court file, how to prepare for the initial Master Calendar Hearing and what to expect, best practices for appearing via WebEx and Open Voice, and a brief overview of common forms of relief and prosecutorial discretion. This webinar is designed for pro bono attorneys and immigration practitioners who are new to immigration law, or for anyone who wants to brush up on their practical skills.
Feb 9 Webinar | Join HIAS and the ABA: Commission on Immigration on Wednesday, February 9th from 3:00-4:00pm ET, for the second webinar in a series of presentations for attorneys and accredited representatives representing Afghan Parolees seeking asylum. This training will cover Cultural Humility and Working with Afghan Clients. Bringing cultural awareness to our work is a vital part of competently representing our clients. Leeza Erfesoglou, HIAS’ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice Manager, and Rahatullah Shaiq, HIAS’ Program Associate, Afghan Parolee Community Coordination will discuss considerations that attorneys should keep in mind when working with Afghan asylum seekers and how to maintain a sense of humility in this work, including a more in depth look at the specific needs and cultural considerations for Afghan asylum seekers.
Pro Bono Best Practices Part 2: Crafting Bite-Sized Pro Bono Opportunities for Immigration Services
February 2 Webinar | With the pandemic continuing to affect legal services and pro bono delivery, programs are adopting projects that can accommodate busy and overwhelmed volunteers while still serving the needs of clients. Learn from experienced pro bono providers on crafting projects to offer smaller, bite-sized pro bono opportunities to volunteers that serve clients in need immigration legal services.
January 12 Webinar | Since the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden Administration reports that 83,000 Afghans have arrived in the US. Many families, fleeing persecution in Afghanistan will qualify for asylum and Pro Bono representation is critical in meeting this need. This webinar is the first in a series of presentations for attorneys and accredited representatives representing Afghan Parolees seeking asylum. Presented by Deena Sharuk, Senior Legal Advisor to the ABA Commission on Immigration and moderated by Adonia Simpson, ABA Commission on Immigration Director of Policy and Pro Bono.
December 15 Webinar | This complimentary webinar will offer advice and expertise on best practices for directing and coordinating pro bono programs. Hear from experts in the field on how to best structure and direct your pro bono program to meet the needs of vulnerable clients. The panel will also discuss strategies specific to pro bono immigration cases. Join us to learn how to best structure your pro bono program to meet the needs of both clients and volunteer attorneys.
Enhancing Immigration Practice by Integrating Social Workers
November 10 Webinar | In this webinar you will learn best practices for managing interdisciplinary teams, strategies for promoting efficient collaborations between attorneys and social workers, supervision methods, and ways to promote cross-functional team collaborations. The panelists will discuss approaches, tools, and strategies used in successful cases of detained and released children as well as adult clients. The webinar will also cover practical programmatic tips for designing a successful interdisciplinary model that integrates data approaches, promotes efficient workflow, and encourages project expansion and growth.
October 28 Webinar | Join the ABA Commission on Immigration for a Pro Bono Week webinar explaining how you can volunteer to help immigrants and refugees. Pro bono work is crucial to upholding due process rights for immigrants. With no right to government-funded counsel and a high indigence rate, many immigrants appear in court pro se. The lack of representation has dramatic consequences, particularly for those fleeing persecution abroad or facing separation from family in the United States.
Spanning the Divide: Examining Mass Migration from Central America and Mexico Through the Lens of the Film A Bridge Apart
October 27 Webinar + Free Movie Screening | The distinguished panel of experts and scholars includes a co-producer of the award-winning film, A Bridge Apart, offer a robust examination of the many factors that influence mass migration and analyses challenges and solutions. Participants are encouraged to use the link provided to view the film in advance of the program. The film, A Bridge Apart, is narrated by award-winning actor James Olmos.
September 21 Webinar | The Commission on Immigration directs the American Bar Association’s efforts to ensure fair treatment and full due process rights for immigrants and asylum-seekers within the United States, promoting diminished reliance on and alternatives to detention, and improving access to qualified legal representation and information for individuals in immigration proceedings, including particularly vulnerable individuals such as unaccompanied immigrant children and individuals with mental disabilities. We invite you to join us for an engaging discussion on the Commission’s work both nationally and locally in California and the Commission’s valuable resources available to practitioners.
Legal Orientation Training: Helping with Afghan Arrivals on Military Bases (Live Roundtable)
September 17 Webinar | Attorneys across the globe are seeking ways to assist recent Afghan evacuees. AILA and the ABA Commission on Immigration will be hosting a training for individuals interested in providing legal orientations for Afghans at military bases across the country. The training will be held virtually on Friday, September 17 at 3 pm ET. On-the-ground experts will cover substantive law, the process at the bases, cultural competency, and working with interpreters. This will be required training for volunteer opportunities on military facilities that become available in the coming weeks and months. A recording will be available for the public following the live event.
Mobilizing Legal Resources for Haitians in a Time of Crisis
September 15 Webinar | This roundtable will discuss immigration-focused strategies and resources for lawyers to help Haitians in the midst of political instability after the death of President Jovenel Moïse and in the aftermath of the August 15, 2021 earthquake. These destabilizing events will be contextualized in light of past U.S. immigration policy after the 2010 earthquake and recent efforts to halt Temporary Protected Status for Haitian migrants. The goal is to gather ABA members and interested advocates to come together from across the country to understand how resources can be mobilized for policy efforts and individual representation to facilitate unprecedented access to the U.S. immigration system for Haitians during this time of crisis.
Afghanistan: A Rapid Response to the Recent U.S. Withdrawal and How You Can Help
September 9 Webinar | The U.S. troops are gone from Afghanistan, but the crisis is far from over. Tens of thousands of Afghans have fled their homeland, with little more than the clothes on their backs. Many are now refugees in the U.S. or elsewhere. Thousands more remain in the country, stranded and desperate to escape the rule of the Taliban. There is an overwhelming need for assistance for the Afghan refugees in this country, as well as the Afghans still in Afghanistan but anxious to leave. As lawyers, what can we do — both individually and collectively — to support these brave Afghans? Join us for briefing on the current situation in Afghanistan and stateside, the ongoing efforts to support Afghans seeking to relocate to the U.S., and the many opportunities for you to help.
Climate Change and the Impact on U.S. Immigration and Asylum Law
May 26 Webinar | Migration has been part of human history since the beginning of time. However, environmental stressors have increasingly become push factors, forcing individuals to leave their homes and seek refuge in other countries. Drought, flooding, temperature change, inconsistent rainfall rates, and unreliable crop yields have been consistent and pervasive manifestations of climate change. The current U.S. immigration policy response has been to attempt to contain or stop the flow of individuals. What would the immigration landscape look like if there was a focus to address climate change factors or define a path of entry for those displaced by climate change? This panel will provide background and context for climate migration and also explore solutions and recommendations that could help to address the immigration ramifications of this issue.
Unaccompanied Children at the Border: Get the Facts from the Experts
April 9 Webinar | Major news outlets are reporting daily on the “humanitarian challenge” posed by a recent influx of unaccompanied children at the border. This influx comes after over 10,000 children were expelled from the border region under the prior administration. It makes sense that, after a period of the border being closed to both children and adults, the number of arrivals would increase once children were again permitted to enter according to our nation’s laws. In this webinar, you will hear from experts discussing who these children are, why they are coming now, and how the U.S. government is receiving them.
Rebuilding America’s Immigration System: The First 100 Days of a Biden-Harris Administration
February 19 Webinar | The first 100 days of a new administration is often marked by a flurry of executive orders and initiatives that will set the stage for the next four years. After four years of presidential policies that sought to dramatically restrict immigration, however, the Biden-Harris administration faces the extraordinary challenge of articulating a vision for immigration reform while simultaneously rebuilding the immigration infrastructure. Join the Commission on Immigration as we host a high level panel of government officials, Members of Congress and immigration advocates to discuss the challenges faced by the Biden-Harris administration and how the vision of “Build Back Better” applies to U.S. immigration policy.
Prison to Deportation Pipeline: Crimmigration & Black Immigrants
February 10 Webinar | Immigration enforcement operates absent many of the protections available in the criminal justice system, resulting in heightened detention and surveillance of Black immigrants. Panelists will discuss how the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (“IIRIRA”) of 1996 expanded the crimes for which a noncitizen can be deported, disproportionately impacting detention and deportation of immigrants of African descent. Panelists will describe how immigration enforcement operates in the context of immigration exceptionalism, which has shielded immigration laws and policies from many constitutional norms under the guise of sovereignty and national security. This reality has resulted in inordinate harm and suffering of Black immigrants and asylum-seekers in the United States of America.
Litigation, Anti-Black Racism, and Trump-Era Administrative Changes
February 3 Webinar | The Trump Administration has made public hostility toward immigrants of African descent a point of pride. This panel will explore efforts by advocates, academics, policymakers, and activists to address how equal protection for Black immigrants has failed and explore ideas to create a more equitable future. The panelists will discuss efforts to challenge many of these harmful policies including the travel ban and revocation of Temporary Protected Status and DACA, among other topics, through strategic litigation.
Defend Asylum Together! Essentials of Immigration Law for Effective Pro Bono Representation
January 25-26, 2021 | Free CLE Webinar Did you know that most migrants seeking humanitarian protection in our immigration court system are unrepresented? This crisis is especially acute for migrants who are detained, and all migrants are much more likely to win relief if they are represented. This free, virtual CLE course seeks to recruit, train and empower volunteer attorneys to defend migrants and asylum seekers as part of their pro bono practice in 2021 and beyond. The training will leverage on-the-ground experts from inside and outside the ABA to train new or beginner pro bono attorneys in removal defense, with a focus on asylum, for detained adults and unaccompanied children.
ABA and the American Immigration Lawyers Association Partner for Free Legal Answers
December 8, 2020. The ABA has partnered with AILA on this exciting new remote pro bono opportunity. This free webinar will offer an overview of the FLA program, the benefits and protections for AILA volunteers (including flexibility in scheduling and choosing questions to answer; limited scope representation not requiring ongoing commitment to a case; anonymity; malpractice coverage and CLE credit in some states) and will guide prospective AILA volunteers through the logistics of the registration process. The intersection with the veteran’s law site and AILA's Military Assistance Project (MAP) will also be addressed.
Change a Life, Make an Impact: Immigration Pro Bono Reflections & Opportunities
October 27, 2020. During National Celebration of Pro Bono week, the Section and the ABA Commission on Immigration hosted a webinar to highlight recent pro bono experiences by volunteer attorneys. Hear directly from volunteers about their representation of asylum seekers who were detained in U.S. immigration detention centers located on the U.S.-Mexico border.
October 21, 2020; The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and the ABA Commission on Immigration are jointly hosted a virtual screening of “The Undocumented Lawyer” and a Live Q&A! This documentary short film follows Lizbeth Mateo, an attorney who is herself undocumented, as she fights for justice for her clients. The live Q&A with protagonist Lizbeth Mateo, Professor Olivas and filmmakers is recorded and available here.
October 6, 2020; Immigration and Asylum are fields of law that have seen negative changes for clients over the past few years. When immigration and asylum clients are living with HIV, they can face additional barriers and live with additional fears in addressing immigration hurdles. Often the clients living with HIV encounter bias against them due to their health status as well as their immigrant status. In this webinar, practitioners discuss their experiences working with immigrant clients living with HIV. Included in the discussion will be recent changes to immigration regulations and legal responses to these changes.
Access to Counsel in Immigration Detention in the Time of COVID-19
August 26, 2020; The COVID-19 pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges to legal visitation and access to counsel for those detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The ABA Commission on Immigration has developed two handbooks designed for lawyers and advocates to support them in asserting their detained clients’ rights to access to counsel. This webinar introduced the detention standards, highlighted some of the reoccurring challenges that counsel and clients face during the pandemic, and considered best practices for utilizing the handbooks and best strategies for overcoming access to counsel issues in the ICE detention facilities.
Shutting Doors: How the U.S. is Poised to End Asylum & Turn Its Back on the Persecuted
June 23, 2020; The U.S. government has just proposed regulations that would eviscerate the current U.S. asylum system, making it effectively impossible for people fleeing persecution to obtain protection in the United States. If implemented, among other acute concerns, the rule would eliminate gender based asylum—shutting the door to anyone fleeing life-threatening persecution due to their gender, while undoing decades of legal precedent. Women fleeing rape and severe domestic violence, LGBTQ+ individuals facing deadly attacks, and those escaping other fatal gender-based harms in their home countries would no longer be able to find safety in the U.S. if the regulations take effect.
How the ABA is Serving Detained Immigrants During COVID-19 and How You Can Help
June 11, 2020; Staff from each of the three projects (ProBAR, IJP, and CILA) discussed challenges facing adults detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and unaccompanied children in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, how their work has changed during COVID-19, and how lawyers can assist adult migrants detained in South Texas and San Diego with requesting release on parole.
Strategies for Working with Children Affected By MPP
March 18, 2020; Since the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) went into effect in 2019, advocates have been encountering more and more children who have been affected by MPP in some way. Some children in ORR custody have ongoing MPP cases with their family members, others have been ordered removed in absentia or on the merits. MPP presents a myriad of challenges in a child’s case from the potential for reunification to access to substantive relief. This is a rapidly evolving area of the law with new strategies being developed daily. Join CLINIC, CILA and guest speakers from ImmDef, DMRS and ProBAR for a discussion of how MPP issues are arising and what approaches are being tested.
Immigration Policy and Practice During the Coronavirus Pandemic
April 15, 2020; This webinar discusses how actions the federal government has taken in response to the coronavirus pandemic have impacted the immigrant community and what additional steps are needed to effectively enforce immigration laws while safeguarding both public health and fundamental due process rights during a national pandemic.
Defend Due Process for Asylum Seekers at the Border
February 27, 2020; Over 55,000 asylum seekers await their hearings in Mexico and thousands more are subjected to detention in remote immigration jails along the U.S.-Mexico border. Watch today to learn about what is happening at the border and how you can make a difference. The Commission and the Campaign have teamed up to increase legal representation for the most vulnerable migrants in removal proceedings on the border.
Military Legal Assistance Issues: Immigration Issues
March 13, 2020; CLE. From this program, you will learn about key aspects of immigration law for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families, focusing on some of the unique immigration challenges and benefits, along with exploring new policy developments in immigration effecting the military. This program is designed for military attorneys working in legal assistance as well as civilian lawyers whose practices involve military-connected clients or issues.
The Fight to Preserve Safe Haven in the United States
February 14, 2020; JW Marriott Austin. This program will discuss how changes to the U.S. asylum system have affected individuals fleeing persecution and how they have impacted core principles of due process and access to counsel. Our panelists will also discuss other challenges facing the immigration system and offer recommendations to resolve them.