Events, Webinars & CLE Programs


Unaccompanied Children at the Border: Get the Facts from the Experts

April 9, 2021 | 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.

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2021 Events

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.