Child Interviewing Techniques

The ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) presents a webinar addressing child interviewing techniques for immigration advocates. This webinar was recorded during CILA's April 2021 Boot Camp and is provided here as an exceptional resource.

Speakers:

Melissa Davila, MSW, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
Valeria Olmedo, LMSW, The Young Center

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Common Crime Based Inadmissibility Grounds for SIJ in Texas

The ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) presents a webinar addressing common grounds of inadmissibility for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) beneficiaries related to Texas criminal statutes. Jordan Pollock, Dallas County Public Defender’s Office, and Karla Garcia, Travis County Public Defender’s office guide participants through common criminal grounds of inadmissibility that create barriers for SIJ beneficiaries when preparing to adjust status as young adults, and provide tips for overcoming them.  Topics include:

  • Working with the public defender’s office
  • Youthful offender exception
  • Drug related offenses
  • Assaultive offenses
  • Burglary offenses
  • Theft offenses

This training has been approved by the State Bar of Texas for 1.5 participatory hour of CLE credit, available until 03/31/2022.

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children's Network

Introduction to Unaccompanied Children and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status

The Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services, Inc. (DMRS) and the Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA), a project of the American Bar Association, present an Introduction to Unaccompanied Children and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. The presentation will cover an overview of the process for children who cross the border on their own, without a parent or legal guardian, and are designated unaccompanied. Children who enter unaccompanied are held by the Office of Refugee Resettlement until a sponsor can be located, and they need representation in immigration court to avoid deportation. The presentation will also cover the most common form of humanitarian relief for immigrant youth, Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status. SIJ status is granted to children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by at least one parent. Learn more about the requirements to gain this protection, including what is required in the state court order. Ethical issues in representing children will also be discussed.

Speakers:
Jacob Wedemeyer, Children’s Program Director / Staff Attorney, DMRS
Dalia Castillo-Granados, Director, CILA

This training has been approved by the State Bar of Texas for 1 participatory hour of CLE credit including 0.25 hours of ethics credit until March 30, 2022. Please fill out this survey upon completion of the webinar to receive information on CLE credit.

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children's Network

OVERCOMING ANALYSIS PARALYSIS: PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR ADJUSTING STATUS BASED ON SIJS

The ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy presents this webinar on adjustment of status to legal permanent resident based on an approved special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) petition. In the last few months, the Department of State’s “Visa Bulletin,” which signals when a visa is available for certain priority-based immigration categories, has advanced rapidly for those with approved SIJS petitions. This has raised many questions for practitioners, as many children and young adults who have been waiting years for “green cards” based on their special immigrant juvenile status are suddenly eligible. In response to data CILA has gathered from the field, this presentation will address:

  • The basics of adjustment of status based on SIJS;
  • Jurisdictional considerations for which forum should be chosen for adjudication;
  • Specific issues for SIJS adjustment applicants at USCIS;
  • Specific issues for SIJS adjustment applicants in immigration court;
  • Common grounds of inadmissibility;
  • Dilemmas on answering questions on Form I-485; and
  • The impact of USCIS’s changes to their policy on discretion.

CILA aims for this webinar to be interactive and engaging, and we will be using hypotheticals so that participants can think through all the potential issues, choices and decisions to be made during the adjustment process.

Speakers:

  • Dalia Castillo-Granados, Director, ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy
  • Victoria Giambra, Senior Staff Attorney, ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy

This training has been approved by the State Bar of Texas for 1.5 participatory hour of CLE credit including 0.25 hours of ethics credit. Please fill out this survey upon completion of the webinar to receive information on CLE credit.

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children's Network

CHILDREN’S IMMIGRATION LAW: 2020 ROUNDUP

The ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) invites you to a webinar presentation providing a review of substantive and procedural changes in immigration law affecting unaccompanied children over the past year. The presentation will highlight both the ups and downs of the past months including ways to preserve the rights of unaccompanied children. Topics covered will include, The Trump Administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the immigration system; litigation updates on the detention of unaccompanied children; regulatory, procedural, and adjudicatory changes at EOIR and its effects for unaccompanied children; regulatory and procedural changes to asylum as well as significant case law updates; and regulatory and policy changes to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

The presentation aims to provide guidance, including ethical considerations to attorneys on how to litigate in a constantly changing environment, as well as point them to resources to guide them along the way.

This online webinar has been approved for 1.5 hours CLE credit by the State Bar of Texas, including 0.25 ethics, which expires on 12/01/2021. Please email cila@abacila.org for the course number when you have completed the webinar.

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children's Network

WORKING WITH IMMIGRANT CHILDREN AND FAMILIES INVOLVED IN THE STATE CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM

As the population of children in immigrant families continues to rise in the United States, state juvenile courts and child welfare agencies are becoming increasingly involved with immigrant families. When immigrant children and adults interact with the child welfare system, attorneys should know how to best address their clients’ needs. This webinar will provide a general, introductory overview of considerations for attorneys working with immigrant families and children using case studies at each phase of a child welfare court proceeding.

The webinar is presented by:

  • Chloe Walker, Supervising Attorney, ABA Children's Immigration Law Academy
  • Cristina Ritchie Cooper, Senior Counsel, ABA Center on Children in the Law

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.

WORKING WITH EXPERTS TO BUILD YOUR EVIDENTIARY RECORD

Presentation exploring how to use expert witnesses in asylum cases in immigration court. With the many changes that have taken place with asylum law and precedent under this administration, expert witnesses have become an increasingly critical part of presenting an asylum case in court. Whether using an expert for country conditions, mental health evaluations or another relevant case element, the presenters will guide participants through the questions and analysis they need to consider regarding expert witnesses.

The webinar is presented by:

  • Elizabeth (Chiqui) Sanchez-Kennedy, Director of Immigration Legal Services at the YMCA International Services
  • Elissa Steglich, Clinic Professor for the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law

This online webinar has been approved for 1 hour CLE credit by the State Bar of Texas, which expires on 07/31/2021. Please email cila@abacila.org for the course number when you have completed the webinar.

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children's Network

Strategies for Working with Children Affected by MPP, Part 2: Equitable Tolling, Motions to Reopen, Motions to Stay

Since the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) went into effect in 2019, advocates have been encountering more and more children who have been affected by MPP in some way. In this follow up to our March 18 training, we will dive deeper into how to assist children with an MPP removal order, whether on the merits or in absentia. Trina Realmuto will guide us through motions to reopen before the immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals, motions to stay, and arguments for equitable tolling. The training will include a reference to helpful template motions.

Some of the emergency motions and stay materials in the handouts were originally developed in response to anticipated raids, but are applicable (with modifications) to representing individuals who need emergency motions. 

The webinar is presented by:

  • Trina Realmuto, National Immigration Litigation Alliance
  • Dalia Castillo-Granados, ABA CILA
  • Martin Gauto, CLINIC
  • Sarah Bronstein, CLINIC

This online webinar has been approved for 1.5 hours CLE credit by the State Bar of Texas, which expires on 05/15/2021. Please email cila@abacila.org for the course number when you have completed the webinar.

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS TO EXIST, SELF DETERMINATION, LANGUAGE AND DUE PROCESS IN MIGRATION: THE CHILD’S PERSPECTIVE

With more unaccompanied children who are indigenous language speakers crossing the border and interacting with advocates at ORR shelters and in the community, it is imperative that we practice cultural humility: the process of self-reflection and self-critique whereby an individual not only learns about another’s culture, but starts with an examination of their own beliefs and cultural identities. Speakers from Alianza Indigena Sin Fronteras and the International Mayan League speak to our network about the historical context of the marginalization of indigenous peoples and how that impacts the migrant experience, including interactions with the legal system and legal teams, for indigenous people and children.

The webinar is presented by:

  • Juanita Cabrera Lopez, Executive Director, International Mayan League
  • Blake Gentry AmaConsultants.org LLC
  • Dr. Patrisia Gonzales, Associate Professor, Mexican American Studies, UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Chloe Walker, Senior Staff Attorney, CILA

This online webinar has been approved for 1.5 hours CLE credit by the State Bar of Texas, including 0.25 hours ethics, which expires on 03/28/2021. Please email cila@abacila.org for the course number when you have completed the webinar.

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.

 

STRATEGIES FOR WORKING WITH CHILDREN AFFECTED BY MPP

Since the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) went into effect in 2019, advocates have been encountering more and more children who have been affected by MPP in some way.  Some children in ORR custody have ongoing MPP cases with their family members, others have been ordered removed in absentia or on the merits.  MPP presents a myriad of challenges in a child’s case from the potential for reunification to access to substantive relief.  This is a rapidly evolving area of the law with new strategies being developed daily.  Join CLINIC, CILA and guest speakers from ImmDef, DMRS and ProBAR for a discussion of how MPP issues are arising and what approaches are being tested.

The webinar is presented by:

  • Laura Egan,Senior Staff Attorney of the Children’s Immigration Law Academy
  • Martin Gauto, Senior Attorney, CLINIC
  • Luis Guerra, Strategic Capacity Officer, CLINIC
  • Natasha Reyes-Diaz, Staff Attorney, DMRS
  • Miriam Aguayo, Senior Staff Attorney, ProBAR
  • Sarah Bronstein, Senior Attorney, CLINIC
  • Mickey Donovan-Kaloust, Managing Attorney, ImmDef

This online webinar has been approved for 1.5 hours of CLE credit, which expires on 04/01/2021. Please email cila@abacila.org for the CLE code.

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.

SETTING-UP FORENSIC EVALUATIONS [HILSC]

The Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaboration (HILSC) and member organizations (Tahirih Justice Center, Justice for Our Neighbors, the Children’s Immigration Law Academy), along with Rosalie Hyde, LCSW (Houston Galveston Trauma Institute) present a new webinar series: Mental Health Evaluations for Immigrant Clients: From Your First Interview to the Merits Hearing!

A high-quality forensic evaluation is often the difference between winning and losing an immigration case. Immigration legal services providers and mental health experts must work closely together to address clients’ trauma so they can advocate for themselves in the complex immigration system. This series aims to train attorneys to effectively work with mental health evaluators by learning trauma-informed lawyering, how to set up a forensic evaluation, the role of the forensic evaluation in your case, preparing for expert testimony, and special considerations for working with child clients.

This third webinarSetting-up Forensic Evaluations, will focus on best practices for setting up an evaluation and collaborating with mental health evaluators. Our presenters will explore when a forensic evaluation is needed based on the legal needs of a case. We will also delve into the components of a mental health evaluation and review different types of expert evaluations and licensing requirements.

Presenters:

  • Jessica Howton, JD (Managing Attorney, Tahirih Justice Center)
  • Rosalie Hyde, LCSW (Co-Founder of The Houston Galveston Trauma Institute)
  • Chloe Walker, JD, MSW (Senior Staff Attorney, ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy)
  • Marisa Peterson, JD (Staff Attorney for JFON Houston on the Deportation Defense Houston Project)

OVERVIEW OF WITHHOLDING OF REMOVAL AND PROTECTION UNDER THE CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE (CAT) CLAIMS FOR UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN

The ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) presents a webinar reviewing withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) claims. With asylum claims becoming more challenging to pursue, and the transit bar in effect, it's important to know what other options are out there for claims based on a fear of returning to one's home country. CILA will explore options for Withholding of Removal and CAT claims for unaccompanied children.

The webinar is presented by:

  • Victoria Giambra, Senior Staff Attorney of the Children’s Immigration Law Academy
  • Chloe Walker, Senior Staff Attorney of the Children’s Immigration Law Academy
  • Laura Egan,Senior Staff Attorney of the Children’s Immigration Law Academy

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.

This webinar recording will provide 1 hour of CLE credit until 12/28/2020. After viewing the webinar, please contact us at cila@abacila.org to obtain the course number, webinar documents can be found here.

STICKY ISSUES: ETHICAL CHALLENGES IN REPRESENTING UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN

Webinar presentation addressing the ethical challenges attorneys face when they are representing unaccompanied children (UCs). Working with UCs can often lead to unusual ethical dilemmas and CILA would like to help practitioners explore these difficult cases in more detail.  The webinar will cover the ethical duties for lawyers representing child clients, including the different roles lawyers may play when working with children in immigration proceedings (client representative, friend of the court, amicus, ad litem) and the different ethical obligations of each role; defining the attorney-client relationship; capacity and competency issues and the interplay between best interest vs. expressed interest; confidentiality and other related issues for children in CBP and ORR custody including the mandatory duty to report, CRCL complaints and other ethical responsibilities; potential conflicts of interest issues; and representing unaccompanied children in times of immigration upheaval, including the responsibility of keeping your client informed and regular communications.

The webinar is presented by:

  • Victoria Giambra, Senior Staff Attorney of the Children’s Immigration Law Academy
  • Chloe Walker, Senior Staff Attorney of the Children’s Immigration Law Academy
  • Laura Egan,Senior Staff Attorney of the Children’s Immigration Law Academy

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.

RESILIENCE FOR YOUTH: WORKING WITH TRAUMATIZED IMMIGRANT CHILDREN [HILSC]

The Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaboration (HILSC) and member organizations (Tahirih Justice Center, Justice for Our Neighbors, the Children’s Immigration Law Academy), along with Rosalie Hyde, LCSW (Houston Galveston Trauma Institute) present a new webinar series: Mental Health Evaluations for Immigrant Clients: From Your First Interview to the Merits Hearing!

A high-quality forensic evaluation is often the difference between winning and losing an immigration case. Immigration legal services providers and mental health experts must work closely together to address clients’ trauma so they can advocate for themselves in the complex immigration system. This series aims to train attorneys to effectively work with mental health evaluators by learning trauma-informed lawyering, how to set up a forensic evaluation, the role of the forensic evaluation in your case, preparing for expert testimony, and special considerations for working with child clients.

This second webinar, Resilience for Youth: Working with Traumatized Immigrant Children builds on the introduction to trauma informed lawyering and highlights special considerations for working with children facing deportation in the immigration system.  Experts in this field will help advocates understand how trauma may present itself in young people given their journeys to the United States and subsequent detention and placement in removal proceedings upon arrival.  Our presenters will also provide additional tips for creating safe spaces for child clients to share their stories and empowering them to seek additional support to address trauma symptoms.  Presenters include:

  • Dr. Luis Zayas, Ph.D., MSSW, Dean of the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and the Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy at the University of Texas
  • Dr. Jodi Berger Cardoso, Ph.D., LCSW, Associate Professor, Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston
  • Chloe Walker, JD, MSW, Senior Staff Attorney, ABA-CILA

Children’s Immigration Law: 2019 Round Up

The ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) invites you to a webinar presentation providing a review of substantive and procedural changes in immigration law affecting unaccompanied children over the past year (September 2018-September 2019).  The presentation will highlight both the ups and downs of the past months including creative strategies for litigating in this new environment.  The webinar will include: changes in children’s asylum law; changes in procedural rules in immigration court; overview of recent federal litigation around SIJS adjudications; and issues with children in CBP and ORR custody. The presentation aims to provide guidance, including ethical considerations to attorneys on how to litigate in a constantly changing environment as well as point them to resources to guide them along the way.

The webinar is presented by:

  • Dalia Castillo-Granados, Director, ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy
  • Chloe Walker, Senior Staff Attorney of the Children’s Immigration Law Academy

 

 

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.

This webinar recording will provide 1.0 hour of CLE credit, which includes 0.25 ethics credit, until 08/09/2020. After viewing the webinar, please contact us at cila@abacila.org to obtain the course number and webinar documents.

FROM TRAUMA TO RESILIENCE: LEARNING CLIENT’S STORIES WITH A TRAUMA-INFORMED LENS [HILSC]

The Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaboration (HILSC) and member organizations (Tahirih Justice Center, Justice for Our Neighbors, the Children’s Immigration Law Academy), along with Rosalie Hyde, LCSW (Houston Galveston Trauma Institute) present a new webinar series: Mental Health Evaluations for Immigrant Clients: From Your First Interview to the Merits Hearing!

A high-quality forensic evaluation is often the difference between winning and losing an immigration case. Immigration legal services providers and mental health experts must work closely together to address clients’ trauma so they can advocate for themselves in the complex immigration system. This series aims to train attorneys to effectively work with mental health evaluators by learning trauma-informed lawyering, how to set up a forensic evaluation, the role of the forensic evaluation in your case, preparing for expert testimony, and special considerations for working with child clients.

This first webinar in this series, From Trauma to Resilience: Learning Client’s Stories with a Trauma-Informed Lens, sets the stage for working with clients who have experienced trauma- a normal reaction to an abnormal event. Trauma informed lawyering will help attorneys be more effective advocates by helping your client's story come through to the adjudicator whether it is an immigration judge, asylum officer, or USCIS officer. The webinar will introduce attorneys working with immigrant clients to the definition of trauma, its impact on our clients and best practices for creating a safe environment for clients who have experience trauma to share what has happened to them for their legal case.

RESPONDING TO COMMON SIJS RFES, NOIDS, AND NOIRS, ARGUMENTS FOR APPEALING DENIALS TO THE AAO AND OPTIONS FOR FEDERAL COURT APPEALS

This webinar will highlight the latest trends we are seeing in RFEs, NOIDs and NOIRs and how to respond to them. The webinar will help attorneys to develop arguments to rebut the common RFEs, NOIDs, and NOIRs we come across, based on state and federal law, and USCIS’s own Policy Manual. We will then look at successful arguments that have been posed to the AAO and what options attorneys have beyond the AAO. The webinar will also assist attorneys in evaluating which cases are ripe for appeal, balancing zealous advocacy with the need to produce favorable case law.

The webinar is presented by:

  • Dalia Castillo-Granados, Director, ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy
  • Chloe Walker, Senior Staff Attorney, ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy
  • Elizabeth Nuñez, Senior Attorney for the Unaccompanied Children Program, Catholic Charities Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Assistance
  • Alexandria Gomez, Senior Attorney for the Unaccompanied Children Program, Catholic Charities Cabrini Center for Immigration Legal Assistance
  • Susan L. Watson, Group Coordinator, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

 

 

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.

This webinar recording will provide 1.5 hour of CLE credit, which includes 0.25 ethics credit, until 05/03/2020. After viewing the webinar, please contact us at cila@abacila.org to obtain the course number and webinar documents.

THE ABA’S UPDATED STANDARDS FOR UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN, PRACTICAL GUIDANCE AND ADVOCACY TOOL

The webinar will highlight key sections of the ABA’s Unaccompanied Children’s (UC) Standards (revised in August 2018) and offer attorneys and legal staff suggestions for how they can be a tool for practice, including ethical concerns, as well as advocating for UC clients. Presenters will include the following contributors to the August 2018 standards update:

The webinar is presented by:

  • Meredith Linsky, Director of the ABA Commission on Immigration
  • Yasmin Yavar, Senior Staff Attorney, ABA CILA
  • Cristina Ritchie Cooper, Director of Immigration Projects, ABA Center on Children and the Law
  • Wendy Wylegala, Deputy Director for Legal Technical Assistance, KIND
  • Jennifer Nagda, Policy Director, Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights

 

 

Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.

This webinar recording will provide 1 hour of CLE credit, which includes 0.25 ethics credit, until 02/19/2020. After viewing the webinar, please contact us at cila@abacila.org to obtain the course number and webinar documents.

TRIAL ADVOCACY IN IMMIGRATION COURT: UNDERSTANDING THE RULES

CILA staff will present an overview of the rules of procedure and evidence in immigration court, where they come from, where to find them, and tips for preparing for your case in light of the rules.

The webinar is presented by staff from The ABA Children's Immigration Law Academy:

  • Dalia Castillo-Granados, Director, ABA CILA
  • Victoria Mora, Senior Staff Attorney, ABA CILA
  • Chloe Walker, Senior Staff Attorney, ABA CILA
Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.
 
This webinar recording will provide 1 hour of CLE credit until 12/31/2019. After viewing the webinar, please contact us at cila@abacila.org to obtain the course number and webinar documents.

IDENTIFYING AND RAISING CAPACITY AND MENTAL COMPETENCY ISSUES IN CHILDREN’S IMMIGRATION CASES

This webinar will help attorneys develop strategies for identifying capacity and mental competency issues when working with children, in addition to, raising these challenges in immigration court and during asylum interviews. It will also provide guiding principles and best practices for working with traumatized children and mental health experts as attorneys develop and prepare a child’s immigration case.

The webinar is presented by:

  • Victoria Mora, Senior Staff Attorney, ABA CILA
  • Damir S. Utrzan, Ph.D., LMFT from the University of Minnesota Medical School
  • Erica Schommer, Esq., Clinical Associate Professor from St. Mary’s University School of Law
  • Meghan Casey, Esq., Supervising Attorney from Northwest Immigration Rights Project
Produced for the Vera Unaccompanied Children Network.
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