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Feerick Center Immigrant Justice Project

Feerick Center Immigrant Justice Project (FCIJ)

 

The Feerick Center works to provide access to justice and to improve policy and practice for asylum-seeking families and unaccompanied immigrant children. From March of 2016 until the travel restrictions related to the novel coronavirus took effect, service trips through Proyecto Dilley (formerly known as the Dilley Pro Bono Project or DPBP) has been a key component of the Project. That work previously involved leading regular trips of students, alumni, and other volunteers to the nation’s largest detention center where volunteers spent a week providing limited-scope assistance to asylum-seeking women detained with their children. Volunteers returned as ambassadors, raising awareness about immigration policy and conditions in family detention. The Feerick Center continues to partner closely with Proyecto Dilley on a range of efforts.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted significant aspects of the Center’s immigration-related programming. Based on COVID-19 alone, service trips are likely to be suspended indefinitely and, most likely, through the calendar year. In the meantime, the Trump Administration has, in effect, closed the border to asylum seekers. The government continues to aggressively pursue a myriad of formal and informal policies to continue to make that happen.

The Center is currently working on multiple fronts to pursue justice for immigrants. The Center is actively exploring remote, limited-scope pro bono opportunities on behalf of asylum-seekers and other vulnerable immigrants. The Center is also continuing its fact-finding and advocacy with reports upcoming. Finally, the Center is hosting a series of webinars, co-sponsored by the Fordham Law School Immigration Advocacy Project, titled Immigration in the Time of COVID-19. These programs shed light on the ways in which the government is both misusing the Pandemic to pursue its goal of ending asylum and endangering the lives of people who have or are trying to seek refuge in the United States, as they are entitled under international and domestic law. Webinar topics have included immigration detention and border expulsions.

U.S. Government Policies at the Border - 5.29.2020

Immigrant Rights in the Time of COVID-19 Virtual Series 

Feerick Ctr Immigration webinar


Program II
U.S. Government Policies at the Border:
COVID-19 and Border Expulsions of Asylum Seekers
Friday, May 29, 2020
1 – 2 p.m. EDT

Topics
Expulsions at the Border: What Is Known
Reconciling International Human Rights and Public Health Imperatives
Advocacy Efforts Underway
What You Can Do to Help

Download the Recording of Webinar

PRESENTERS 

Shaw Drake

Shaw Drake, American Civil Liberties Union of Texas

Shaw Drake joined the ACLU Border Rights Center in 2018 as Policy Counsel. In this role he defends border communities against unconstitutional and inhumane policies, and develops border-related advocacy strategies, working closely with other ACLU border affiliates and ACLU national. Prior to joining the ACLU, Shaw served as a law clerk for the Honorable James Orenstein in the Eastern District of New York and an Equal Justice Works Fellow at Human Rights First, where he authored the report “Crossing the Line – U.S. Border Agents Illegally Reject Asylum Seekers.” Shaw’s work during law school included travel, research, and writing on statelessness in the Dominican Republic, disappearances in Mexico, protests in Venezuela, surveillance and racial discrimination in Colombia, and military justice in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Before law school, Shaw worked for the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture in New York City and No More Deaths in Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora, Mexico. Shaw graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, where he received a Juris Doctor, a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies, the Bettina Pruckmayr Award in Human Rights, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He holds a B.A. with highest honors in Latin American Studies and Romance Language from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Shaw serves on the Steering Committee of the International Migration Bill of Rights (IMBR) Initiative. He speaks fluent Spanish.

CLINIC

Tania M. Guerrero, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, INC (CLINIC)

Tania Guerrero leads CLINIC’s Estamos Unidos Asylum Project since August 2019. She joined CLINIC in November 2018 as an Advocacy Attorney working on policy and outreach. Prior to joining CLINIC, she was in private practice. Her work focused on deportation defense litigation, affirmative and defensive asylum, family-based petitions, and humanitarian relief, including Special Immigrant Juvenile Status matters. Previously, Tania provided legal assistance to adults, unaccompanied minors and families fleeing violence from their home countries. She engaged in advocacy for immigrants’ rights in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. She also served as a criminal defense attorney to detained first-time offenders in Monterrey, Mexico. Tania earned her law degree from the University of Monterrey and master’s degree in international law and human rights from the U.N.-mandated University for Peace. She is a member of the District of Columbia and Mexican bars. She is a fluent Spanish.

Gretchen kuhner

Gretchen Kuhner, Institute for Women in Migration

Gretchen Kuhner is the Director of the Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI) in Mexico City. She has lived and worked in Mexico City with NGOs, academia, and international foundations on issues related to women in migration, human rights and gender. She studied International Relations and Gender Studies at Occidental College and has a J.D. from Seattle University.

MODERATORS 

Casey Miller

Casey Miller, Human Rights Advocate

Casey Miller is an organizer and immigrant rights advocate based in San Antonio, Texas. She works transnationally in México and the United States, fighting for the legal rights of asylum seekers. The majority of her work is along the border where she gathers information and shares her findings with attorneys and other advocates who can assist in fighting for the people whose right to seek asylum is in jeopardy. Most recently she has organized the Pack the Courts action on the anniversary of the implementation of the “Remain in México”/Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy and a car rally at the Karnes Family Detention Center fighting against Family Separation 2.0, also known as binary choice. She has also organized pro se workshops and court observation programs for people who have been returned to México under MPP, in Tijuana and San Antonio, respectively. She also worked as a legal assistant for RAICES in the Karnes Family Detention Center while "zero tolerance" was in effect in 2018.

Karuna Patel

Karuna Patel, Fordham Law School Feerick Center for Social Justice

Karuna Patel is the Deputy Director of the Feerick Center where she works on immigration, education, and economic justice issues. Karuna began her legal career at Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services, Inc.), a legal services organization where she started the Consumer Rights Project. She has worked at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs leading a division focused on enforcing the City’s consumer protection laws and on educating consumers, and at the Center for Responsible Lending, where she represented consumers in all aspects of predatory lending impact litigation. Before joining the Law School, Karuna spent over five years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) working on a range of issues including mandatory arbitration in consumer contracts and consumer protections for remittances. Karuna is a Queens native and received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Columbia University and her law degree from New York University School of Law. Karuna clerked for the Honorable John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the Honorable Theodore McKee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Co-Sponsored by Fordham Law School's Immigration Advocacy Project

For information about this webinar and the webinar series or any other questions, email feerickcenter@fordham.edu.


Fordham Law School Feerick Center for Social Justice
The Feerick Center for Social Justice promotes the rights and addresses the problems facing marginalized and low-income New Yorkers through the creation of strategies to reform policies, educate, and provide assistance to right wrongs.

Highly regarded for its efficacy and dedication to combating inequities, the Center works with wide-ranging networks to rally partners in the legal community and beyond to respond to the challenges of those in need.

Fordham Law faculty and students involved at the Center collaborate with the city's nonprofit, legal services, and public sectors to create long-term innovative solutions critical to real change.

Fordham Law School Immigration Advocacy Project (IAP)
IAP works towards the goal of ending family detention, and has partnered with the Feerick Center for Social Justice to coordinate and provide legal support to the Dilley (formerly CARA) Pro Bono Project, a mass-representation effort aiding refugee women and children detained at the southern U.S. border. IAP seeks to raise awareness of immigrant issues and to train law students to advocate for immigrant rights through remote appellate work. IAP also organizes panel discussions related to ongoing litigation, as well as career paths in immigration law.


 

The Fight to Defend the Health and Safety of ICE Detainees - 5.15.2020

Immigrant Rights in the Time of COVID-19 Virtual Series 

Feerick Ctr Immigration webinar

 


Program I

The Fight to Defend the Health and Safety of ICE Detainees: Litigation, Organizing, and Advocacy
Friday, May 15, 2020
1 – 2 p.m. EDT

Topics
Conditions in ICE Detention Centers, including at the Karnes and Dilley Family Detention Centers
Local and National Efforts to Secure the Release of ICE Detainees
What You Can Do to Help.

Download Recording of Webinar

Bree Bernwanger

Bree Bernwanger, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area

Bree Bernwanger is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR) and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law. At LCCR, Bree leads litigation and advocacy to expand and protect the rights of immigrants. She is on litigation teams challenging conditions of confinement in Northern California ICE detention centers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including Zepeda Rivas v. Jennings, a class action challenge on behalf of everyone detained in the Mesa Verde detention center and Yuba County Jail.  She also served on the litigation team in Doe v. Wolf, a groundbreaking constitutional challenge to conditions of confinement in Border Patrol hieleras in the Tucson Sector of Arizona that resulted in a sweeping order mandating their overhaul. Bree joined LCCR from the Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham Law School, where she has also continued to teach as an Adjunct Professor of Law.  Bree has years of experience directly representing asylum seekers, with a focus on those fleeing gang- and gender-based violence in Central America and Mexico.  Before shifting her focus to litigation, she directed LCCR’s longstanding pro bono asylum program.  In 2016, she served as Managing Attorney of the Dilley Pro Bono Project, which provides pro bono representation to asylum-seeking women and children detained in the country’s largest family immigration detention center. Previously, Bree taught and supervised students handling immigration and domestic violence cases in Albany Law School’s clinical program. She began her career as a litigation associate at Sidley Austin LLP and as a legal fellow at the New York Civil Liberties Union. Bree is a graduate of the University of Texas and Georgetown Law. 

Shalyn Fluharty

Shalyn Fluharty, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and the Dilley Pro Bono Project 

Shalyn Fluharty directs the Family Detention Project at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. In this capacity, she manages the Dilley Pro Bono Project in Dilley, Texas. Shalyn previously served as the Supervising Attorney with the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights in Harlingen, Texas. She has worked with detained unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings in Northern California at Legal Services for Children, in Chicago at the National Immigrant Justice Center, and in New York City at Catholic Charities Community Services. After law school, Shalyn worked at the Sacramento County Office of the Public Defender. She obtained a Juris Doctor at the University of California, Davis King Hall School of Law, a Masters of Teaching at Dominican University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University. Before law school, Shalyn taught Spanish at Harper High School in Chicago. She is barred by the State Bar of California.   

Manoj Govindaiah

Manoj Govindaiah, The Refugee and Immigrant for Education and Legal Services (RAICES)

Manoj Govindaiah is the Director of Litigation at the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), based in San Antonio, Texas. In his current role, he oversees all of RAICES' federal litigation, appeals, and amicus work. Manoj began his career at the Immigration Project in Granite City, Illinois and later at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago where he provided direct services. Subsequently he worked at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Miami, Florida where he litigated class action civil rights cases on education and juvenile justice matters. Manoj is a 2006 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law and is admitted to the bars of Illinois, Florida, and Texas. 

MODERATORS 

Karuna Patel

Karuna Patel, Fordham Law School Feerick Center for Social Justice

Karuna Patel is the Deputy Director of the Feerick Center where she works on immigration, education, and economic justice issues.  Karuna began her legal career at Mobilization for Justice (formerly MFY Legal Services, Inc.), a legal services organization where she started the Consumer Rights Project.  She has worked at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs leading a division focused on enforcing the City’s consumer protection laws and on educating consumers, and at the Center for Responsible Lending, where she represented consumers in all aspects of predatory lending impact litigation.  Before joining the Law School, Karuna spent over five years at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) working on a range of issues including mandatory arbitration in consumer contracts and consumer protections for remittances.

Karuna is a Queens native and received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Columbia University and her law degree from New York University School of Law.  Karuna clerked for the Honorable John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the Honorable Theodore McKee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Maura Tracy

Maura Tracy, Class of 2020, Fordham Law School Immigration Advocacy Project

Maura Tracy is in Fordham University School of Law’s Class of 2020 and has served as Co-Chair, Community Outreach Coordinator, and 1L Representative of Fordham Law’s Immigration Advocacy Project.  At Fordham, Maura is a Stein Scholar in Public Interest Law and Ethics and the Senior Articles Editor of the Fordham Urban Law Journal.  Upon graduation, Maura will begin an Equal Justice Works Fellowship at The Door’s Legal Services Center.

Contact Us

Feerick Center for Social Justice of Fordham School of Law
150 West 62nd Street, 7 Floor, New York, NY 10023

Tel: 212-636-7671

Fax: 646-312-8238

Email: feerickcenter@law.fordham.edu