Presented: Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Description: In addition to facing the difficulties that arise from language barriers and cultural differences, LGBT immigrants may also be called to explore and to share deeply personal and private experiences involving the process of self-identifying as LGBT or coming-out to one’s family and community. These processes may be on-going for some, or may have involved the very persecution that led others to immigrate or to seek a particular immigration benefit. Therefore, it is important for practitioners to feel comfortable discussing these matters with their clients, preparing them to share their experiences and feelings with government officials through written declarations and personal testimony. In less delicate cases, it is still important to have the cultural competency to inspire trust in our clients and to provide the most effective advocacy on their behalf, knowing, for example, how to respond when our clients are treated with insensitivity, misunderstanding or outright discrimination by government officials. Our team of immigration specialists and a clinical psychiatrist will share stories to help illustrate how these issues arise in real cases and will provide practical tools to help representatives when confronting the same.
Presenters: Ally Bolour, Immigration Attorney at the Law Offices of Ally Bolour; J Craig Fong, Immigration Attorney at Fong & Chun, LLP; Dr. Stuart L. Lustig, Director of Child Psychiatry Training at the University of California San Francisco; Lourdes Martinez, Staff Attorney at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.