Immigration Law and Policy Conference | CLINIC

ILPC '15 Panel


14th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference


Monday, September 25, 2017
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


Georgetown University Law Center

Bernard P. McDonough Hall
Hart Auditorium
600 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20001

With immigration as one of the most prominent policy areas in the Trump administration, this year’s Immigration Law and Policy Conference offers an excellent opportunity to go beyond the headlines.

The 14th annual conference, organized by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., the Migration Policy Institute and Georgetown University Law Center, will offer timely policy and legal analysis and discussion on immigration.

Our experts will examine sweeping changes to enforcement at the border and in the U.S. interior, legal challenges to executive orders, changes to refugee resettlement and possible reform of the legal immigration system, among other topics.

Join us for a day of thought-provoking analysis from leading government officials, attorneys, researchers, advocates and others.

Have questions? Contact Robdeti Geleta. Are you covering this event for a news outlet? Contact LaRia Land.

See video recordings from 2016 and 2015 to get an idea of the in-depth analysis and discussion you get to hear at every Immigration Law and Policy Conference.


Join the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #immconf



Video and Audio Recordings are Now Avaialble 


2017 Agenda, Panel Topics and Descriptions


9 a.m. 

Introduction & Welcome 

Introduction - Andrew I. Schoenholtz, J.D., Ph.D.,

Professor from Practice, Georgetown Law

Director, Human Rights Institute

Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies

Welcome - Jeanne M. Atkinson 

Executive Director

Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)


9:10 to 10:30 a.m.

A New Age: Immigration Policy Under a New Administration

Within days of taking office, President Trump ordered sweeping changes to immigration enforcement, both at the border and within the United States. Such changes included modifications in how unauthorized immigrants, would-be refugees and international travelers are treated in the immigration legal system. During this annual “State of Play” discussion, panelists will examine the administration’s initiatives, including but not limited to:

  • the travel ban,
  • reductions in refugee resettlement,
  • changes in enforcement policy and practice,
  • repointing the legal immigration system to focus on “merit-based” admissions,
  • the building of a wall on the U.S.’ southern border, and more.

They will also analyze the implementation challenges and responses from states, Congress, the judicial branch and other major players. 


Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute (MPI)


Elaine C. Kamarck, Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, and Director of the Center for Effective Public Management, Brookings Institution.

C. Stewart Verdery, Jr., Partner, Monument Policy Group, and former Assistant Secretary of Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland

Arturo Sarukhan, International consultant and former Mexican Ambassador to the United States 


10:30 to 11 a.m. – Break


11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.

Humanitarian Relief Under Threat Across the Board

More than one million people in the United States receive temporary forms of humanitarian relief. Additionally, each year, tens of thousands are granted asylum or admitted as refugees. Today these protections are at risk. The administration has sought to temporarily halt refugee admissions and reduce the number of refugee admissions to less than half of the prior level. Other forms of humanitarian relief, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, and Temporary Protected Status, known as TPS, are under threat from the administration, the courts and Congress. This panel will explore the current state of humanitarian relief and the implications of the administration's policy decisions for the most vulnerable immigrants, including refugees, TPS recipients and children.


Jeanne Atkinson, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)


Wendy Young: President, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

Mark Hetfield:  President and CEO, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)

Alejandro Celorio Alcántara, Head of the Hispanic and Migration Affairs Section, Embassy of Mexico

12:20 to 2 p.m. – Lunch


2:00 p.m. - Welcome Back

Andrew Selee, President, Migration Policy Institute 


2:05 to 3:20 p.m.  

Mapping Fast-Changing Trends in Immigration Enforcement and Detention

During the first six months of the Trump administration, arrests of noncitizens identified for removal rose nearly 40 percent compared to the same period during the previous year. At the border, apprehensions fell by nearly 50 percent as fewer people sought to enter without authorization. The White House also announced plans to seek funding to increase the number of Border Patrol agents and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, as well as expand immigrant detention. This panel will delve into the many immigration enforcement and detention policy changes that have occurred under the Trump administration.


Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Professor from Practice, Georgetown Law


Benjamin “Carry” Huffman, Chief, Strategic Planning and Analysis Directorate, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Cecilia Wang, Deputy Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Philip Miller, Deputy Director, Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

3:25 to 3:40 p.m. – Break


3:40 to 5 p.m.

A Standoff on Immigration Enforcement: Federal vs Local, State vs. State, State vs. Local

In a highly-polarized atmosphere where policy changes have stalled on the federal level, states and localities, in recent years, have increasingly taken on a larger role in challenging Washington’s immigration authority. With the Trump administration focused on cracking down on “sanctuary” cities and enticing law enforcement agencies to take a greater role in enforcement, politicians and policymakers across the United States take opposing sides of the issue. Even as some states and cities are declaring themselves sanctuaries, others are rushing to bar jurisdictions from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. During this panel, speakers will examine the following topics:

  • growing patchwork of stances on immigration from states, counties, cities , universities and local school boards, 
  • what is driving states to be more active and litigious on immigration matters,
  • what is the legal landscape for state and local action, and
  • how is the administration is expected to further engage state and local jurisdictions in immigration enforcement  


Muzaffar Chishti, Director, Migration Policy Institute office at NYU School of Law


Daron Hall, Sheriff of Davidson County, Tennessee.

Hiroshi Motomura, Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Chief J. Thomas Manger, Chief of Police in Montgomery County, Maryland

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