Monday February 4, 2008

The Great Debate

National scholars and experts in immigration, employment, public benefits law and other areas will visit the School of Law for two events Feb. 27-28.

Presidential candidates won't be the only ones in Ohio the last week of February debating immigration issues.

National scholars and experts in immigration, employment and public benefits law, plus other areas, will visit the University of Dayton School of Law for two events Feb. 27-28. They will tackle the current debate about U.S. immigration policy and help equip attendees to represent the foreign-born in everything from employment disputes to criminal proceedings.

The first Miami Valley Forum on Immigration is 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the School of Law's Keller Hall. It costs $12; lunch is included. The forum will focus on challenges and opportunities for immigrants in the Dayton area.

The UD School of Law's biennial Gilvary Symposium on Law, Religion and Social Justice is 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, and 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, also at the School of Law's Keller Hall. The symposium will address U.S. immigration policy, with a focus on guest-worker programs, and workshops on how best to represent non-citizen clients. It also will explore immigration policy from a Catholic perspective. Registration is free; costs for meals and continuing legal education credit range from $40 to $125.

Anyone who employs or aids the immigrant community, or is interested in immigration issues is welcome at either event.

More information and registration for both events can be found at

Forum on Immigration highlights include:

  • Mark Ensalaco, director of UD's human rights program, will talk about immigrant human rights. Ensalaco discussed immigration issues on FOX News.
  • Dr. Richard Wyderski, a member of Wright State University's public health management faculty and chair of continuing education at Miami Valley Hospital, will talk about immigrant health issues.
  • Julia Arbini Carbonell, with the cultural diversity and limited English proficiency section of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Bureau of Civil Rights, will address language issues and interpreters.

Gilvary Symposium highlights include:

  • Jonathan Blazer, public benefits policy attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. He will talk about immigrant access to safety-net programs at state and local levels.
  • Joanne Macri, director of the New York State Defenders Association. She will provide advice to criminal defense attorneys about special issues in the representation of non-citizens.
  • Sonia Parras Konrad, director of the Mujeres Unidas por un Nuevo Amanecer Legal Clinic of the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Konrad also is a director of a nationwide program that provides technical assistance to frontline advocates and attorneys on issues arising out of representing immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. In 2002, she represented a group of immigrant women survivors of sexual assault in a class action lawsuit against their employer, winning a $1.5 million settlement.

The U.S. Census Bureau's population projection released Dec. 27, 2007, said net international migration is expected to add one person to the U.S. population every 30 seconds.

The School of Law's Gilvary Symposium is one of many initiatives within its Lawyer as Problem Solver program. UD's Lawyer as Problem Solver program emphasizes service and applying legal education to solving problems for clients, communities and the world.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or