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DACA and International Human Rights: The Quest for Immigration Justice

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: August 06, 2020
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        • Introduction
                - Who is allowed in?
                - The U.S. Increasingly Restrictive/Punitive Approach
                - Human Rights Principles Implication in Treatment of Migrants
        • Migration and Labor
                - Migrant Labor Convention
                - Comparative Approaches
                - Policy Reform
        • Principles on Human Rights and Human Mobility
        • Conclusion

Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Recorded: August 6, 2020


In a time of rising nationalism and increased reluctance to admit immigrants and refugees into traditional safe harbors, such as the European Union and the United States, the work of human rights clinics and advocacy groups has never been more important. Following the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the United States, please join this panel of experts for a discussion about the next challenges for immigration rights in the US, and the forces that create refugee populations, such as the Rohingya crisis or turmoil in Latin America and the Middle East.

Learn what has changed in the legal landscape of immigration and asylum seekers, and what new approaches are being taken to ensure the sanctity of human rights across the country and overseas.

This program was recorded on August 6th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Kica Matos

Vice President, Initiatives
Vera Institute of Justice

Kica Matos is the vice president of initiatives. Matos joined Vera in 2019 as the director of the Center on Immigration and Justice. Prior to joining Vera, Kica was the director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at the Center for Community Change, an organization whose mission is to empower the people most affected by injustice to lead movements to improve the policies that affect their lives. Kica has been a national advocate for immigration reform and coordinated the work of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, the nation’s largest network of immigrant rights organizations. She has extensive experience as an advocate, community organizer, and lawyer.

Kica has also headed up the U.S. Reconciliation and Human Rights Program at Atlantic Philanthropies. Before joining Atlantic Philanthropies, she served as deputy mayor in the city of New Haven, where she oversaw the city’s community programs and launched new initiatives including prisoner re-entry, youth and immigrant integration. Kica was previously the executive director of JUNTA, New Haven’s oldest Latino advocacy organization. She also worked as an assistant federal defender for death sentenced inmates and with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Amnesty International on death penalty and criminal justice issues.

She has a BA from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, an MA from the New School and a JD from Cornell Law School. In 2017, she was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Albertus Magnus College.

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Ian M. Kysel

Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
Cornell Law School

Ian Matthew Kysel is a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law. He co-directs the Asylum and Convention Against Torture Appellate Clinic, is also a founder and director of the International Migrants Bill of Rights (IMBR) Initiative and is a core faculty member in the Migration and Human Rights Program.

Kysel’s research interests lie in public and private international law, including international migration and human rights law, constitutional law, civil rights/civil liberties law, US immigration law and property law. His recent scholarship has focused on both children’s rights and the rights of migrants. Kysel has published in the Georgetown Journal of International Law, the New York University Journal of Law & Social Change and the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal as well as in the peer-reviewed International Migration and Journal on Migration and Human Security. He has written several human rights reports; his opinion articles have appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Kysel previously held appointments at the University of Oxford, as a Plumer Visiting Research Fellow at Saint Anne’s College and an Associate Member of Nuffield College, and at the Georgetown University Law Center, as the inaugural Dash/Muse Fellow and an Adjunct Professor of Law.

Kysel has argued or participated in litigation before immigration, federal and state courts as well as international tribunals. He has provided testimony to various legislative bodies and executive or international commissions. Much of his legal work has focused on ending the detention of children and the abuse of those deprived of their liberty. Before joining the faculty at the law school, Kysel was a staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California. He also served as the Aryeh Neier Fellow at both the National ACLU and Human Rights Watch and practiced in Shearman & Sterling’s International Arbitration Group and its Public International Law Practice. Kysel currently serves as a Trustee of the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) and on the Board of Ithaca City of Asylum (one of two U.S. affiliates of the International Cities of Refuge Network). He also sits on the advisory committee of Human Rights Watch’s Children’s Rights Division, is a co-organizer of the ACLU’s national Youth Justice Network and co-chairs the International Refugee Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law.

Kysel holds an LLM in Advocacy, with distinction, a JD, Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif, and a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies from Georgetown University Law Center. While a law student at Georgetown, he was an articles editor for the Georgetown Journal of International Law and a Global Law Scholar. He holds a BA, with high honors, Phi Beta Kappa, from Swarthmore College.

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Claudia M. Flores

Associate Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of the Global Human Rights Clinic
University of Chicago Law School

Claudia Flores is an Associate Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School and the director of the Global Human Rights Clinic (GHRC), a clinical program dedicated to advancing global justice by strengthening human rights around the world. GHRC represents individuals and organizations advocating for human rights and supports communities engaged in movement building. Under Professor Flores’ directorship, GHRC’s work has received international recognition and been featured in The Guardian, Washington Post, NPR, the Chicago Tribune, and ABA Journal, among others.

Professor Flores’ research and advocacy focuses on issues of inequality and failures of good governance and rule of law. She has lectured and written on a variety of topics including constitution-making and reform processes; the rights of women and migrants; and human rights and policing.

Professor Flores advises governments on state obligations under the Convention on All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in constitutional and legislative drafting processes. She served as Senior Advisor on Gender and the Constitution for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Zimbabwe during the 2013 constitutional reform process; Legal Advisor for UN Women in East Timor on gender equality and women’s human rights; and Technical Advisor and Program Manager for a USAID Program in Indonesia implementing the state’s obligations under the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons.

Professor Flores was also a civil rights litigator in the United States. She was a law partner in the civil rights practice of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick and Dym where she specialized in civil and human rights violations of low-wage immigrant workers. She worked as a staff attorney at the national office of the American Civil Liberties Union in the Women’s Rights Project from 2003-2008.

Flores was a recipient of the Skadden Arps Fellowship of the Skadden Foundation and law clerk to U.S. Federal Court of Appeals Judge Harry Pregerson. She was also a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar and Sinsheimer Service Fellow. Flores earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law and received her B.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago. She is fluent in Spanish.

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Jordan Anthony Lesser

Legal Counse
New York State Assembly

Jordan A. Lesser currently works as Legal Counsel for the New York State Assembly, where he has been able to lead in environmental and energy policymaking. As a former National Park Ranger in Arizona and Louisiana, and with a background in water law and natural resources law, he has brought this expertise to the state capitol during an exciting time for development of energy and environmental policy.

He also serves as Chair of the International Law Committee for the American Bar Association Section of State and Local Government Law. Additionally, Jordan has lead an expedition to Namibia in September 2016 and July 2017 with an international legal team, to look at legislative reforms to address the serious concerns surrounding wildlife poaching which threatens to eradicate the Black Rhinoceros and gravely damage Africa's elephant population. Jordan was awarded the 40 Under 40 Rising Star award for NYS government/politics by City and State magazine in 2018, was an Eastern Region Fellow for the Council of State Governments in 2018 and was a New Leaders Council Fellow in 2016.

He has a Juris Doctor from Tulane Law School with an Environmental Law Certificate, and a B.A. in Medieval History from Cornell University.

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