January 30, 2018

Midyear 2018: Panel to explore DACA, merit-based immigration, other reforms

Immigration has always been a hot-button issue. In 2017, it became positively explosive.

The year began with President Trump’s first travel ban, prompting chaos in American airports and challenges in American courts. It continued with two more travel bans and several court rulings, including one from the U.S. Supreme Court. Controversies exploded over President Trump’s proposed border wall, his rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, rising deportations, immigrants seized in courthouses, huge backups in the nation’s immigration courts and fights over the number of refugees admitted into the United States.

President Trump has supported the RAISE Act – an acronym for Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment. Like the Canadian system, it would award points to potential immigrants based on their education, skills and language abilities.

How well has Canada’s system worked? How desirable is it to tilt U.S. immigration policy in favor of skilled immigrants and away from family unification?  Which country’s standards and procedures offers greater protections to asylum seekers and refugees?

A panel of international experts will discuss these and other immigration issues Saturday, Feb. 3, at 10:30 a.m. The free CLE will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, Room 118.

The panel will include:

  • Moderator Cyrus Mehta of New York City – Mehta represents corporations and individuals from around the world in business and employment immigration, family immigration, consular matters, naturalization, federal court litigation and asylum matters. He chairs the Ethics Committee of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and is a member of the ABA’s Commission on Immigration Advisory Committee. 

  • Catherine Dauvergne of Vancouver, Canada – Dauvergne is dean of the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia. She has been working in the area of refugee, immigration and citizenship law for more than 25 years and has written three books on the subject.

  • Gordon Maynard of Vancouver, Canada – Maynard has practiced Immigration law exclusively since 1989. He specialized in matters of temporary entry and permanent status, including entry of workers under NAFTA, GATS and HRSDC LMIA processes.

  • Andres Pelenur of Toronto – Pelenur specializes in Canadian immigration law. He has extensive experience representing large multinational companies with relocation and cross-border issues. He also advises clients on all permanent resident streams, including federal and provincial nominee programs, humanitarian and compassionate ground applications, and spousal and parental sponsorship applications.

  • Margaret Stock of Anchorage, Alaska – Stock served in the U.S. Army Reserve and has taught at West Point.  Much of her work focuses on the impact of immigration law on military personnel and their families. She created the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s MAP program, which pairs volunteer attorneys with those in need.

  • David Ware of Metairie, Louisiana – Ware has practiced immigration and nationality law exclusively since 1982, representing individuals, companies, universities, medical schools and other entities. He is a mentor with the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

The program is co-sponsored by the ABA Commission on Immigration and the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities.