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Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic hosts regional immigration law seminar

A two-day seminar organized by the faculty, staff and students of the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic at Elon Law featured presentations by immigration law scholars and practitioners, law enforcement officials, and leaders of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. Dozens of non-profit immigration service providers and attorneys specializing in immigration law attended the event.

Some of the attendees participating in the immigration law seminar at Elon Law, held April 28 and 29, 2011
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The April 28-29 seminar focused on humanitarian immigration law topics, including legal relief for victims of human trafficking, gender- and gang-based asylum claims, and evidentiary challenges in refugee and asylee relative petitions.

Approximately 70 people attended the seminar, including representatives from non-profit immigration service organizations and law firms in the region, as well as law students, faculty and staff.

“We were very pleased to be able to offer this substantive immigration law seminar at the conclusion of the clinic’s inaugural semester and hope to host similar events in the future," said Heather Scavone, Clinical Practitioner in Residence for the clinic. "The participation of senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security as guest speakers was particularly exciting and really illustrated DHS’s commitment to public engagement and community relations.”

"Immigration attorneys, human rights activists, and Elon's Humanitarian Immigration Clinic participants and staff are critical to protecting refugees and immigrants from exploitation across North Carolina," said Megan Risen Hitchens a Class of 2011 law student member of the clinic. "The immigration law seminar successfully brought this amazing group of people together to not only learn from experts in the field, but to also share their own experiences and struggles. Some topics of the seminar were heartbreaking, but I feel as if everyone left feeling energized with renewed purpose for protecting and advocating for their clients."

Speakers at the seminar included:

Elon Law students participating in the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic this semester joined presenters at the immigration law seminar for a luncheon to discuss federal employment opportunities for lawyers. Pictured from left: Alexander Pham '11; Hamza Benzine '12, who served as an interpreter for the clinic this year; Richard Gottlieb, Director of the USCIS office in Charlotte, NC; Ron Rosenberg, Director of the USCIS Asylum Office in Arlington, VA; Keely Sewell '11; Joe Kernan, USCIS Community Relations Officer for USCIS District 8 in Atlanta, GA; Jay Weselmann, Immigration Officer from the USCIS office in Durham, NC; Heather Scavone, Clinical Practitioner in Residence, Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic at Elon Law; Christopher Beal '11; Ivy Oakley '11; Megan Risen Hitchens '11; and Meredith Thompson '11.

Gerry Chapman, Attorney At Law and Board Certified Immigration Specialist, Chapman Law Firm;

Helen Grant, Professor of Law with expertise in international refugee and asylum law, and faculty adviser to the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, Elon University School of Law;

Lindsay M. Harris, Equal Justice Works Fellow and Immigration Staff Attorney at the Tahirih Justice Center;

Joe Kernan, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Community Relations Officer for USCIS District 8 in Atlanta, GA;

Jeremy L. McKinney, Attorney At Law and Board Certified Immigration Law Specialist, McKinney, Justice, Perry & Coalter, PA;

Ron Rosenberg, Director of the USCIS Asylum Office in Arlington, VA;

Marty Rosenbluth, Executive Director of the North Carolina Immigrant Rights Project and immigration attorney;
 
Heather Scavone, Clinical Practitioner in Residence, Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, Elon University School of Law;

Tommy Sluder, Detective with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office with responsibility for human trafficking investigations.

George R. Johnson, Jr., dean of Elon Law, delivered welcoming remarks at the start of the seminar on April 28.

Click here for biographies of the speakers.

Click here for the seminar’s schedule of events.

Click here for details about the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic at Elon University School of Law.
 

Jeremy L. McKinney, Attorney At Law and Board Certified Immigration Law Specialist, speaks at the immigration law seminar at Elon Law, April 29, 2011
Philip Craft,
Staff
5/18/2011 9:34 AM