This spring, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Omaha had the opportunity to co-sponsor an immigration legal training with CLINIC on bars and waivers of inadmissibility grounds. Our immigration legal staff always looks forward to CLINIC’s in-person trainings as an opportunity to connect with other service providers and to learn the latest on laws and procedures.
Our staff has had the opportunity to network with peers who are doing similar work locally, regionally, and nationally through CLINIC’s in-person trainings. Connections made at these trainings have helped us to better serve clients through building relationships and partnerships. We have made friends and built support by learning about the work others are doing and calling upon each other for help.
In-person trainings offer us a unique opportunity to remove ourselves from our daily fast-paced environment in order to fully immerse ourselves in substantive immigration law and procedure. I enjoy the interaction with CLINIC’s experienced instructors, who meld their years of practical experience with up-to-date practice pointers and who each bring their own teaching styles and perspectives to the subject matter. The classroom feel and the open discourse among our colleagues and CLINIC’s instructors create a welcoming platform for brainstorming and troubleshooting day-to-day issues. The mix of educational approaches including lectures, readings group work, and hypotheticals offer something for everyone.
At this recent training, I was pleased at the level of complexity of the inadmissibility bars and waivers information presented. It was relevant for both novice and seasoned practitioners alike. Above all, this recent training served as a reminder of the support our network offers, both formally through CLINIC’s technical and field support, and informally through our colleagues, who have become our friends, working in our city or states away. The new material offered through trainings, and the clarity that comes from learning with a peer community, is a refreshing reminder that we are all working on strengthening laws and procedures to better serve the vulnerable among us.
*Jossy Rogers is Director of the Immigration Legal Assistance Services Program at Catholic Charities of the Archidocese of Omaha, Nebraska