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CLINIC’s annual Convening is the premier training event for those seeking to increase their knowledge of immigration law, advocacy and successful program management techniques. Join us as we gather with fellow advocates and service providers to share strategies, enhance expertise and prepare for the challenges ahead. 

Agenda and workshop tracks are subject to change. Please check back regularly for updates including descriptions and speaker announcements.


Workshop Track Descriptions

To help attendees choose which trainings to attend, we have assigned each workshop to one of five tracks. 

Humanitarian | Workshops that explore humanitarian-based immigration programs, such as Special Immigrant Juveniles, U Visas or asylum.

Building Your Skills | Workshops that help legal practitioners sharpen their interviewing, researching and practice skills.

Family | Workshops that focus on family-based immigration.

Selected Issues | Workshops that take a look at trending topics in immigration law and program management, along with a deep dive into special cases.

Removal | Workshops that discuss how clients can expose themselves to removal and what you can do about it.

Community Outreach and Advocacy | Trainings that address program best practices to best immigrant communities.


Convening At-A-Glance


  • 7:30 - 12:00 p.m. - Registration Open     
  • 8:30 - 3:30 p.m. - Lawlogix Training *Additional registration required
  • 9:30 - 3:15 p.m. - General Skills Workshops 
  • 8:30 - 4:00 p.m. - Motions to Reopen Granted: How to Achieve this Important Safeguard for Your Clients *Additional fee and registration required.
  • 12:00 - 4:30 p.m. - Exhibits Open     
  • 1:00 - 6:30 p.m. - Registration Open     
  • 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. - Ask the Experts/Meet Your Field Support Coordinator (Office Hours) 
  • 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. - CCUSA Community of Practice 
  • 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. - Opening Plenary     
  • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. - Opening Reception     


  • 7:00 - 7:45 a.m. - Mass     
  • 7:45 - 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast Open 
  • 7:00 - 9:00 a.m. - Registration Open 
  • 8:00 - 8:45 a.m. - Breakfast with RIS 
  • 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. - Workshops 
  • 10:30 - 11:00 a.m. - Break with Exhibitors 
  • 11:00 - 12:30 p.m. - Workshops 
  • 12:30 - 2:15 p.m. - CLINIC Awards Lunch  
  • 2:30 - 4:00 p.m. - Workshops 
  • 4:00 - 4:30 p.m. - Break with Exhibitors 
  • 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. - Workshops 


  • 7:00 - 7:45 a.m. - Mass     
  • 7:45 - 8:30 a.m. - Breakfast Open 
  • 8:00 - 8:45 a.m. - Breakfast with Advocacy 
  • 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. - Workshops 
  • 10:30 - 11:00 a.m. - Break with Exhibitors 
  • 11:00 - 12:30 p.m.-  Workshops 
  • 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. - Lunch on Own/View Exhibits
  • 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. - Brown Bag Lunch with Advocacy
  • 2:45 - 4:15 p.m. - Workshops 
  • 4:30 p.m. - Exhibits Close


Agenda by Day

Wednesday, May 29


Thursday, May 30


Friday, May 31


Workshops by Track


Seeking Asylum in a post-A-B- World 

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 4:30 p.m.–6 p.m.

Last summer Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a decision, Matter of A-B-, which sought to restrict asylum eligibility for those fleeing domestic violence or gang violence. Since then, the Attorney General has also certified Matter of L-E-A- for review, which may affect asylum claims based on family membership. Geared toward practitioners with asylum experience, this workshop will address strategies to use in presenting asylum cases in an increasingly challenging environment. It will also discuss federal litigation challenging these changes to asylum law.

The ABCs of Asylum Law 

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

As more migrants arrive at our borders seeking asylum, immigration legal practitioners must be prepared to help them through the legal system. Practitioners new to the asylum process are encouraged to join us for a discussion on the basics of asylum law, including concepts of past persecution and well-founded fear, the five protected grounds and how to establish a nexus to these grounds, humanitarian asylum and bars to asylum. We will also discuss the differences between affirmative and defensive asylum procedures.  This panel will also address whether asylum may be an option for individuals with DACA or TPS and consider the common challenges to succeeding with these claims, such as the one year filing deadline.

Life After U Status: Challenges Ahead

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 2:45 p.m.–4:15 p.m.

In this workshop, the presenters will look at issues that arise after U status is granted. Those issues will include post-approval inadmissibility grounds, revocation of U status, prior removal orders, adjustment of status and discretion. The presenters will also discuss issues related to derivatives such as the loss of relationship and the I-929 process. This workshop targets experienced practitioners in that it assumes knowledge of the eligibility requirements for U Status.

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Avoiding Pitfalls in Light of Changing Government Practices

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 2:45 p.m.–4:15 p.m.

Over the last several years, the federal government has implemented various policies and practices that make it difficult for SIJS-eligible children to access this important protection successfully. This workshop, geared toward practitioners with SIJS experience, will discuss recent trends in USCIS adjudication of SIJS petitions as well as current federal court litigation related to SIJS. It will also cover strategies for navigating removal proceedings for clients who are seeking SIJS, particularly in light of attorney general decisions making it challenging for children to pursue relief with USCIS while in removal proceedings. Presenters will also discuss the visa backlog’s impact on vulnerable youth clients who have approved SIJS petitions but are awaiting visa availability.


Building Your Skills

Nuts and Bolts of Case Management and Developing Policies and Procedure

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Do you ever wonder if your case management system is working as effectively as it could? Want to learn about what organizations are doing to maximize their time, while ensuring quality immigration services? We will explore topics related to case supervision, case management, and developing and implementing policies and procedures. CLINIC presenters will discuss case management best practices.

Case Assessment: Getting it Right from the Start

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 2:30 p.m.–4 p.m.

You may be surprised to learn that case assessment is something you do every day. It is the process of identifying the legal requirements for a particular benefit, then gathering the corresponding facts and evidence to meet those requirements. Case assessment also helps practitioners identify case weaknesses and plan a strategy to address them. Now, more than ever, it’s imperative to do a case assessment at the onset of representation to make sure you have considered all of the issues, not only through the eyes of the client advocate, but also as the case may be seen by the adjudicator. In this workshop, appropriate for all practitioners, we will walk through a series of case assessments to review the steps and see how this process can strengthen your advocacy skills.

Maximizing Staff Potential

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 2:30 p.m.–4 p.m.

Learn to be the best supervisor you can be. Join CLINIC's Capacity Building staff for a conversation about key staffing issues such as hiring, on boarding and training new staff. We will also discuss supervision techniques, professional development, staff retention and responding to staff turnover.

Beyond the Interview: Getting the Facts 

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

You’ve interviewed your client and she has disclosed an arrest by local law enforcement and a stop at the border. What should you do next?  Whether you’re new to the practice of immigration law or need a refresher, this workshop will be valuable to you in determining how and where to get the facts you need in order to counsel your client on immigration options. Topics will include FOIA requests, how to obtain FBI RAP sheets and criminal records, as well as how to analyze the results of these requests.

What to do When you Make a Mistake: Ethical and Practical Implications  

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Have you ever had a client's case denied based on a mistake you made?  Perhaps you forgot to include a piece of required evidence or overlooked screening for a ground of inadmissibility or simply misunderstood the applicable legal requirements. Mistakes happen, but ALL mistakes need to be acknowledged and assessed so that appropriate remedial measures are taken. In this workshop, we will review the different ethical obligations triggered when a mistake is made and examine the potential steps that a practitioner may need to take, including informing supervisors and the client, refunding fees, withdrawing from the case and advising the client to seek new counsel, and acknowledging ineffective assistance of counsel where appropriate. This workshop is appropriate for all practitioners.

Sharing the Journey into the Future

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

As Pope Francis’ two-year call to Share the Journey ends, it is time to reflect on lessons learned. As ever, our goal is to create a culture of encounter based in Catholic social teaching on migration. Come and hear about the Church’s efforts and what programs people have successfully implemented in their communities. 

Dealing with Denials

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

You just received a denial of your client’s application for adjustment of status and the clock is ticking. What remedies are available to challenge the denial and how can you pursue them? Is there an appeal you can file, or a motion to reopen or reconsider? If you can do both, which is the best option? And how do you draft a legal argument that your client’s case was wrongly denied? This workshop, which is appropriate for practitioners of all levels, will review the various options available to challenge application and petition denials, and discuss strategic and procedural aspects to consider when deciding on a plan of action.



Fundamentals of Family-Based Immigration

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

How can clients obtain permanent residence through a family relationship? This workshop introduces new practitioners to immigrating as an immediate relative and through the family preference system. Presenters will cover the basics of the I-130 petition process, family visa categories, derivatives, how to read and apply the Visa Bulletin and an overview of the Child Status Protection Act.

Immigrating Through Marriage: Conditional Residency

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Many clients immigrating through marriage are granted conditional residence and must take additional steps to remove the conditions on their status. In this workshop, appropriate for practitioners of all levels, presenters will discuss how and when to file the I-751 joint petition or waiver, and the circumstances in which late filings will be excused. The session will also cover denials, termination of conditional residence status and a review of denials in removal proceedings.

We Are Fa-mi-ly! Establishing Parent-Child Relationships for Immigration and Citizenship Purposes

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 2:30 p.m.–4 p.m.

When does someone qualify to immigrate as a “parent” or “child” under INA § 101(b)? Who counts as a “child” under INA § 101(c) for purposes of acquiring or deriving U.S. citizenship from a parent? This workshop takes a deep dive into the law around parent-child relationships and the evidence needed to establish these relationships in different situations. Experienced practitioners are welcome to explore the nuances of establishing this key relationship for biological, adoptive and stepchildren, including the legitimation of children born out of wedlock and the use of DNA testing. Presenters will also touch on when a child is a derivative and basics of the Child Status Protection Act.     

What You Need to Know About Public Charge

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 4:30 p.m.–6 p.m.

The public charge ground of inadmissibility could become a significant barrier for low income clients, depending on the language in the final regulation and the agency’s implementation of these changes. But in any event, the focus is going to shift to the intending immigrant and the need to evidence positive factors with respect to age, health, job skills, education, income and resources. Some consulates have already started applying this tougher scrutiny. Come learn what practitioners are experiencing and how to prepare your clients for this new or likely standard. This workshop is appropriate for practitioners of all levels. 


Selected Issues

Immigration Violations: The Three-Headed Monster

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Clients often have previous entrances and exits into and out of the United States by the time they walk into your office. Some have been stopped by Customs and Border Protection, but it is not always clear what happened during that interaction. What do all these trips and encounters mean? For many clients, they may mean inadmissibility under INA § 212(a)(9) and/or exposure to reinstatement of removal. This workshop, appropriate for practitioners of all levels, will explore the various ways that clients’ immigration histories can lead to inadmissibility for a prior removal, unlawful presence, the permanent bar or reinstatement of a prior removal order.   

Hot Topics in Immigration Law

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Things are constantly changing in the immigration world—this workshop is your chance to catch up on what you may have missed! What is the latest on implementation of the new Notice to Appear guidance? What are the new updates to asylum procedures and removal proceedings? How are U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of State assessing public charge inadmissibility? Can your client still qualify for a fee waiver? What are the latest decisions from the Board of Immigration Appeals and how do they affect your client? This workshop, appropriate for all levels, will review the headline news of the year and how these developments may impact your clients and your practice.

Won’t You Be My (Permanent) Neighbor? Permanent Residency for Religious Workers

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood—unless you are trying to file a permanent residence case for a religious worker! Join Mister Miguel and his neighbors, the RIS staff, as they take you on a tour through U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' neighborhood. Learn how to climb Mt. I-360 (petition). Be witness to the majesty of I-485 (application) Falls. Also, do battle with the treacherous monsters in RFE land, when the need for new evidence can seem endless. Join us for this and so much more.

Demystifying Moral Turpitude

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Even the Board of Immigration Appeals says that “moral turpitude is a nebulous concept.”  This workshop will give practitioners an introduction to the elements of Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude, including tools for determining when a client’s conviction constitutes a CIMT. We will also discuss when and how a CIMT impacts a client’s case.  This workshop is open to practitioners of all levels.

Religious Worker Blues

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Feeling down in the “pitts” over religious worker visa problems? Fear no more! Join the RIS team as they croon their way through major topics in the religious immigration world, such as:  

  • More Memos, More Problems!
  • Won’t You Come for a Site Visit?
  • Hello, Is Anyone Home? USCIS Processing Delays
  • Don’t You Want Me? When Premium Processing Says No

All About Travel

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 2:30 p.m.–4 p.m.

What legal issues may arise when your client travels abroad? When may a lawful permanent resident’s absence be construed as abandonment of residency?  What if your asylee or refugee client travels back to his or her home country?  When will a legal permanent resident be considered an applicant for admission after a trip abroad and what are the legal implications? In this workshop, geared toward practitioners at all levels of experience, the presenters will review legal issues and complications related to client travel abroad.

All About Naturalization

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 4:30 p.m.–6 p.m.

This workshop will provide new practitioners with an overview of the eligibility requirements for naturalization. Presenters will discuss the continuous residence and physical presence requirements, the statutory and regulatory bars to demonstrating good moral character, and the English and civics requirements and exemptions. The workshop will also include screening tips for naturalization eligibility and deportability.

Top 10 Issues in Immigration Program Management

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 4:30 p.m.–6 p.m.

Immigration program managers share similar challenges, but often don't have the opportunity to discuss them with their peers. In this workshop, you will hear from CLINIC staff on the top 10 issues facing immigration programs, including funding challenges, ethical issues, staffing and supervision, and more. Hypothetical scenarios will be used to guide an open discussion.

Tackling Acquisition and Derivation of Citizenship

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Has your foreign-born client been a U.S. citizen since the day she was born? Can your client apply for a certificate of citizenship or U.S. passport following the naturalization of his parent or parents?  This workshop, appropriate for new practitioners, will cover the requirements for acquiring U.S. citizenship at birth abroad and deriving citizenship from a U.S. citizen parent after birth. It will also review the requirements for children born in wedlock and out of wedlock, residence requirements for U.S. citizen parents, and the legal and physical custody requirements for derivation.

Stop Pulling Your Hair Out: How to Handle USCIS Procedural Issues

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Have you become increasingly frustrated with USCIS case processing delays, decreasing avenues for inquiry, and a shift towards enforcement? This workshop will review recent organizational changes within USCIS as well as policy changes on issuing Notices to Appear and Requests for Evidence and proposed changes in fee waiver criteria. Finally, we will review adjudication delays in various application types. Practitioners with experience dealing with USCIS are welcome to join us as we discuss recent procedural challenges, as well as strategies for shepherding tricky cases through to approval.

Understanding Admissions into the United States

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 2:45 p.m.–4:15 p.m.

Do you know an admission when you see one? What kinds of things constitute an admission? Was your client admitted into the United States if she told the officer at the border that she was a U.S. citizen? What if she was a silent passenger in a car that a border officer waived through after speaking with the driver?  What about a returning Legal Permanent Resident who could potentially be subject to the public charge inadmissibility ground? Presenters will review the current status of the law on the definition of admission in these and other contexts. This workshop is open to practitioners at all levels.



237(a)(1)(H) to the Rescue: Relief for Certain Deportable Permanent Residents

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

What can you do when you find out that your client was married when she immigrated in the F2B category? What if she was mistakenly granted status as a derivative beneficiary when she had aged out of eligibility, or she immigrated through a sham marriage? If there is a defect in your client’s underlying residency, your client is subject to removal unless a 237(a)(1)(H) waiver can come to the rescue. Join this workshop for experienced advocates to learn about what kinds of defects this waiver can remedy and what the applicant needs to show for her waiver to be approved.  

The Risks of Filing for Immigration Benefits with USCIS

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 9 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

The 2018 USCIS Notice to Appear Guidance has dramatically increased the risk of immigration enforcement for many immigrants affirmatively filing for benefits with USCIS. This workshop, which is appropriate for practitioners of all levels, will discuss how the policy is being implemented to help you gauge whether filing with USCIS may result in your client being placed in removal proceedings. It will cover strategies for conducting a pre-filing case assessment (including screening for relief in removal proceedings and exposure to detention), counseling clients about the risks and benefits of filing for immigration benefits with USCIS, and incorporating the 2018 NTA guidance into case planning for already-filed cases.

Non-court Removal Orders

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

You call the EOIR hotline and no information appears on your client—but this does not mean that your client does not have an order of removal! This workshop will walk you through how to determine if your client has a non-court removal order, different types of non-court orders of removal, and relief possibilities for clients with a non-court order of removal. Panelists will also review whether the client is at risk of facing the permanent bar. Together, they will help practitioners of all levels navigate non-court removal orders and show them how to best advocate for these vulnerable clients.

Non-LPR Cancellation: Preparing and Presenting the Case

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 2:45 p.m.–4:15 p.m.

ICE has served your client with a Notice to Appear, or NTA, and filed it with the immigration court. Has your undocumented client lived in the United States for over 10 years? Does this client have a spouse, child(ren) or parent(s) who are lawful permanent residents or U.S. citizens? Would this relative experience exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if your client were removed? Does this client have a criminal record? This workshop, appropriate for all levels, will review the requirements of non-LPR Cancellation of Removal, an important form of defensive relief for clients in removal proceedings, and discuss the common obstacles to proving eligibility.


Community Outreach and Advocacy

Building Strategies for Case Resolution

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Join agency officials and CLINIC’s advocacy team to learn about updates on case processing tools and procedures. In this session, we will share tips for preparing cases, discuss how to counsel clients on timing and expectations, and discuss how to tackle problem cases. This session will also cover case advocacy resources available to CLINIC affiliates.

Practical Consequences of the Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 2:30 p.m.–4 p.m.

Do you know about your client’s journey to the United States? For an advocate, knowledge is power–power that can translate to a broader view of potential legal options. Conditions and processes vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, making it challenging to counsel clients on next steps. Join us for a discussion of what happens at ports of entry such as El Paso, Nogales and Tijuana. Experts will share their experiences and observations from the field regarding representing unaccompanied children, asylum applicants and other vulnerable populations. 

Exploring the Intersection of Activism and Faith

Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 4:30 p.m.–6 p.m.

Activism motivated by faith has been at the helm of countless social movements, from civil rights to labor and climate change. In this panel, we will hear from organizers whose religious principles have driven them to lead protests, marches and nationwide advocacy efforts in defense of immigrant rights. As members of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, they rally around a belief that crosses all theological lines: the protection of human dignity, regardless of nationality, race or creed.

Power to the States: How State and Local Officials are Defending their Communities from Federal Government Overreach

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 

In an increasingly hostile climate towards immigrants, state and local governments are key players in resisting federal efforts to weaken trust and inclusivity in their communities. Officials are using their state powers to challenge federal government activities that threaten public safety and the overall well-being of their communities by implementing welcoming policies and initiating legislation. Speakers will discuss how advocates and local officials are working together to reject anti-immigrant sentiments and defend the rights and dignity of vulnerable residents.

Creating Emergency Plans for Raids and Mass Detentions

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

After lunch, join us for dessert at this roundtable discussion. CLINIC will provide tools and best practices on how to support families facing the immediate detention of a loved one and respond to ICE actions.

Policy and Advocacy Briefing: Year Three under the Trump Administration

Friday, May 31, 2019 | 2:45 p.m.-4:15 p.m.

This panel will explore current events in immigration law and policy, illuminating the administration’s core goals and strategies in reducing immigration and immigrant integration. Topics will include DACA/TPS, the administration’s regulatory agenda, denaturalization efforts, family separation and more. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of key topics and a sharper eye to spot patterns that lead to a stronger collective voice of opposition.


 Register now!