UMass Law hosts Immigration Symposium

The UMass Law Review's annual symposium will focus on immigration, sanctuary cities, and the recent travel ban.

Barney Frank
Former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank will serve as keynote speaker for the symposium.

Every year, the UMass Law Review’s annual symposium provides a forum for discussion and debate on a legal trend or issue. When deciding which issue to focus on for this year’s symposium, the staff chose one they recognized as a dividing issue in our nation: immigration.

“The Immigration Symposium: Beyond the Wall” will take place on April 6, 8am-2:30pm at UMass Law. The event begins with a light breakfast and concludes with lunch.

“We want to take a closer look at the issue of immigration, particularly sanctuary cities and the recent travel ban,” said Diana DeQuattro, UMass Law Review Symposium Editor. “The issue is loaded with legal intricacies, which are quickly ignored in the public forum, where the debate has been boiled down to talking points.”

As keynote speaker, former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank will discuss both sides of President Trump's policy on sanctuary cities, the recent executive orders concerning immigration, and the future of immigration and our nation.

The symposium will celebrate the 15th anniversary of UMass Law's Immigration Law Clinic. Students in the clinic help provide legal services to immigrants in the SouthCoast area. The event will also mark the American Bar Association's Law Day, which focuses on the 14th Amendement this year.

Immigration Law Clinic alumni

Prof. Irene Scharf, Director of the Immigration Law Clinic, will moderate the first panel. UMass Law alumni Rita Resende, Steve Brown, and Val Ribero, now local immigration attorneys, round out the panel. All participated in the Immigration Law Clinic while at UMass Law.

Sanctuary city panel

The highly-debated issue of sanctuary cities will be the focus of the second panel, moderated by Ethan Dazelle, UMass Law Review Editor-in-Chief.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, one of the first mayors to designate his city a sanctuary city, will be joined by Bristole County Sheriff Hodgson, who has vocalized his belief that illegal immigrants should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Councilwoman Emily Norton of Newton and Sarand Sekhavat, the Federal Policy Director for Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, complete the panel.

Refugees and the travel ban

Moderated by Prof. Francis Rudko, the third panel will discuss issues surrounding the travel ban. Immigration attorney Subhan Tariq will discuss practicing law as a Muslim, as well as the legal implications of the travel ban.

Middle Eastern expert Dr. Joseph Roberts, from Roger Williams University, will lead a discussion on the implications of the travel ban in an international context.

Attorney Dierdre Giblin, a representative from the Massachusetts Bar Association, will discuss local efforts to overturn and challenge the travel ban.

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