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ILPC '15 Panel


16th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference


Monday, October 7, 2019    9 a.m.-5 p.m.    Georgetown Law Center


Immigration is constantly in the headlines, with the Trump administration pressing forward its policy agenda and taking action across the immigration system. At a time of intense and fast-moving action on immigration, this year’s Immigration Law and Policy Conference offers an excellent opportunity to go beyond the headlines with thoughtful analysis from leading experts.

The Immigration Law and Policy Conference, organized by the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Georgetown University Law Center, and the Migration Policy Institute will offer timely policy and legal analysis, along with audience Q&A.

Join us for a day of expert analysis from leading government officials, attorneys, policy analysts, advocates, and others.

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



The registration deadline is 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct. 2, or until capacity is reached.


Keynote Speaker


Kevin McAleenan

Acting Secretary, Department of Homeland Security





State of Play: Central to the Trump Administration’s Record, Immigration Looms as the Major 2020 Issue

Moderator: Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute

From Donald Trump’s first utterances as a presidential candidate in 2015 to the hundreds of policy actions undertaken during his administration, immigration has loomed as the major touchstone for his political base. It is the issue to which the president and his administration return again and again. Chaos at the U.S.-Mexico border resulted from a sharp uptick in flows, as well as outmatched policies, infrastructure and resources. Now, a growing number of Americans cite immigration as one of the most crucial national issues. Yet Congress remains incapable of even small-bore fixes, continuing its nearly two-decade inability to undertake substantive immigration legislation. Vast differences exist among Republican and Democratic politicians and other stakeholders — from “build the wall” and narrowing humanitarian protections on one side, to #AbolishICE and pressing to decriminalize illegal crossings on the other.

Whither immigration as high-stakes elections approach in 2020? In what’s sure to be a lively State of Play conversation, political and policy experts will explore the politics of immigration, the pitfalls for both political parties and the potential for a post-election pause in the brinkmanship. Also, what about the possibility for reform as DREAMers await a major decision at the Supreme Court? What other pressing challenges may converge to force action in Washington?

Doris Meissner
Session Moderator

Senior Fellow and Director, U.S. Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute

Tom Jawetz

Vice President of Immigration Policy, Center for American Progress

Julia Preston

Contributing Writer, The Marshall Project


Volleying Among the Branches of Government: DACA, TPS, Asylum and Other Policies that Hang in the Balance

Moderator: Muzaffar Chishti, Director, MPI's office at New York University School of Law

In an unprecedented era of executive branch policy-making in the immigration arena, the nation’s federal judiciary has been called to decide a raft of major cases that hold the lives of more than one million recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status in the balance, and govern the conditions of care for children in immigration detention and the ability to apply for asylum. The administration’s action on the "public charge" rule may end up in the courts as well, and the fallout from the controversy of including a citizenship question on the 2020 census remains unsettled. What are the legal underpinnings, the stakes and the possible outcomes as the nation’s courts, from district courts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, hear and rule on a consequential portfolio of legal challenges? And what is or will be Congress’ response given the dynamic interplay of litigation and executive action? Our panel of top experts will tackle these big questions.

Muzaffar Chishti
Session Moderator

Director, MPI's office at New York University School of Law

Kim Johnson

Director, California Department of Social Services

David Shahoulian

Chief Counsel, Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship to the Judiciary Committee, U.S. House of Representatives

Cecillia Wang

Deputy Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union


Drawing a New Line: Recent Changes in U.S.-Mexico Border

Moderator: Anna Gallagher, Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Under the current administration, U.S.-Mexico border polices have dominated headlines, becoming both the symbol and testing ground of hardline immigration policy. Family separation, the deaths of children in immigration custody and the detention of men, women and children in unsafe, overcrowded conditions have stirred national concern.

The asylum system alone has been hamstrung by “metering” that slows entry to a trickle, enormous court backlogs, the wholesale return to Mexico of asylum applicants awaiting their court appearances, and policies that attempt to force applicants to first seek protection in other countries.

This panel will explore what these policies have meant to asylum seekers and the communities that straddle the 2,000-mile-long line. Topics will include family separation, Remain in Mexico, the wall, state and local work and more. The panelists also will consider whether the administration is achieving results with its efforts to reshape overall enforcement, the responses from local border communities and related litigation.

Anna Gallagher
Session Moderator

Executive Director, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Dylan Corbett

Founding Director, Hope Border Institute

Sue Kenney-Pfalzer

Director Border and Asylum Network, HIAS

Joel Rose

Correspondent, National Desk, National Public Radio


The Humanitarian and Migration Crisis Originating in Central America: The Need for Regional Approaches

Moderator: Andrew Schoenholtz, Professor from Practice, Georgetown Law; Director, Human Rights Institute; Co-Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies

In recent years, the humanitarian and migration crisis in the three Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras has resulted in increasing international migration, particularly of women and children as well as unaccompanied minors. Most of them cross the Guatemala-Mexico border to head towards the United States, while some migrate to countries in the region, such as Costa Rica. Many are fleeing serious violence carried out by gangs and other non-state actors, though the search for better livelihoods and family reunification with relatives already in the United States plays a role as well. The governments do not control territories where gangs and drug cartels rule, nor are they able to protect women and girls from domestic abuse and other forms of violence or insecurity. Natural disasters, climate change, food insecurity and poor economic conditions exacerbate the situation for vulnerable people. This panel will discuss the best ways for governments, international organizations and NGOs in the region to address this crisis, particularly in terms of root causes and the protection of families and children.

Andrew Schoenholtz
Session Moderator

Professor from Practice, Georgetown Law; Director, Human Rights Institute; Co-Director, Center for Applied Legal Studies

Chiara Cardoletti-Carroll

Deputy Regional Representative for the United States of America and the Caribbean, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

Anthony Fontes

Assistant Professor, School of International Service, American University

Maureen Meyer

Director for Mexico and Mexican Rights, WOLA



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