Working to preserve the safety of immigrants

By UM News

Working to preserve the safety of immigrants

By UM News
Miami Law lecture series explores the legal rights of immigrants through the past few decades along with current legal challenges in the United States.

When people leave their homes to find safety and economic opportunity in a new country, it is a daunting journey. And today, it is also a challenge to do so legally in America.

With the stability of thousands of immigrant families hanging in the balance, the University of Miami Law School this fall launched a lecture series called “Defending the Human Rights of Migrants.” The latest panel will address family separation and juvenile detention this Thursday, Nov. 7, at 12:30 p.m. in room F309 at the law school. 

“The forced separation of children from their parents at the border, and the inhumane conditions for children who are detained have provided some of the most heart-wrenching images in the current immigration debate,” said Professor Kele Stewart, moderator for the lecture and co-director of the University of Miami’s Children and Youth Clinic.

Speaking on the panel will be Jennifer Anzardo Valdes, director of the Children’s Legal Program at Americans for Immigrant Justice, which represents undocumented children formerly housed at the Homestead shelter. Other speakers include Shalyn Fluharty, director of the Family Detention Project at Rio Grande Legal Aid; Elora Mukherjee, clinical professor of law at Columbia University; Jerome L. Greene, director of Columbia Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic; and Martha Luz Vallejo, licensed clinical social worker at Traumatologist Network, Inc. The discussion will explore recent lawsuits about detention and family separation policies. And to provide a legal context for much of the current debate, panelists will review the history of the Flores Settlement, a 1997 agreement that set time limits and conditions on the detention of immigrant children, as well as other relevant law.

“This is a pressing national conversation, in which several UM faculty are actively engaged,” said Stewart.

Sponsored by Miami Law’s Immigration ClinicHuman Rights ClinicChildren and Youth Law Clinic, and the Immigration Students Law Association, the lecture series is expected to continue in the spring. If you are interested in attending Thursday’s lecture, please RSVP.