Events, Webinars & CLE Programs

 

Asylum for Afghans 202: Preparing for the Asylum Interview

Webinar | March 15

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, Associate Professor 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. Please register in advance here.

Register - Here

Asylum for Afghans 201: Bars to Asylum and Common Concerns

Webinar | March 4

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. Closed captions will be on and CLE credit will be available for live participants, for certain jurisdictions.

Register - Here

Cultural Humility and Working with Afghan Clients

Webinar | February 9

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.

Register - Here

Asylum 101 For Representing Afghan Parolees

Webinar | January 12

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.

Watch - Here

2021 Events

Pro Bono Best Practices

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

A Call for Pro Bono: Advancing the Rule of Law

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

Get to Know the ABA Commission on Immigration

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Info - Here

2020 Events

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.

Learn - More

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.

Watch - Here

Undocumented Lawyer Webinar

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.

Watch - Here

ProBAR Presents: History of the Rio Grande Valley

September 9, 2020; Online Webinar. This program features speaker Ronnie Garza of One Scene Studios who presents on the history of the Rio Grande Valley. Program moderated by Gladys Hernandez.

Watch - Here

The Intersection of Immigration, Asylum and HIV

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Watch - Here

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.

Purchase - Here

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.

Read - More

Past Events & CLE

Follow the link to an archive of all past events and CLE sponsored by the Commission on Immigration. The page includes embedded videos, along with relevant information and course materials.