This webinar provides practice tips for handling children's asylum claims in light of the changes created by the TVPRA, which gave CIS initial jurisdiction over all unaccompanied minors' asylum claims. We cover developing relationships with the asylum office and transferring cases from EOIR to CIS, creating and submitting materials in support of children's claims, preparing for and attending the asylum interview, and interview follow up -- including transfer back to EOIR, if need be. Perspectives from attorneys, as well as child advocates working with asylum seekers, are provided, in addition to pointers obtained from CIS. This training focuses primarily on procedural rather than substantive issues; it may be ideal for those who have presented children's asylum claims before EOIR, but are new to practice before the asylum office.
Angie Junck, ILRC Staff Attorney
At the ILRC, Angie coordinates the Immigrant Youth Project to provide advocacy on behalf of immigrant youth in order to improve their lives and ensure their fair and humane treatment in the United States. She provides trainings, technical assistance, and written materials to immigrant youth and their families, as well as to decision makers and service providers, such as social workers, dependency attorneys, juvenile justice officials, legislators, juvenile and family court judges, and community based groups and advocates. She is an author of various ILRC publications, including A Guide for Immigration Advocates, Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit, and Naturalization and U.S. Citizenship.
Kristen Jackson, Staff Attorney, Immigrant Rights Project at Public Counsel
Kristen represents abused, abandoned or neglected children eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status in the delinquency, dependency, and probate systems – both before the immigration service and in immigration court. She also provides SIJS trainings and SIJS technical assistance across the country. She currently co-teaches the Immigration Clinic at UCLA’s School of Law. Before joining Public Counsel, she clerked at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a student director of the Advocacy for Parents and Children Clinic.
Elissa Steglich, Managing Attorney, American Friends Service Committee
Elissa is the Managing Attorney at the American Friends Service Committee's Immigrant Rights Program in Newark, New Jersey. In addition to supervising her legal staff, she provides direct representation to asylum seekers, immigrant children, and immigrant victims of violence and human trafficking. She was the Managing Attorney at the National Immigrant Justuce Center in Chicago from 2002 to 2006, and Trafficking Project Officer at DePaul College of Law, where she conducted extensive field research on trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Maria Woltjen, Director of the Immigrant Children's Advocacy Project and Lecturer in Law, University of Chicago Law School
Maria launched the Immigrant Children's Advocacy Project, a national initiative that provides guardians ad litem (Child Protection Advocates) for unaccompanied immigrant children detained by the federal government, in 2003. She began her legal career in 1987 as a litigator at Coffield, Ungaretti, Harris & Slavin, where she devoted substantial time to pro bono cases, and since then her career has centered on children's rights. She directed the Children's Advocacy Project of the Chicago Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights, focusing on delinquency, health and disabilities. Additionally, she worked for several years as adjunct faculty at Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. Maria also serves on numerous boards and committees in the immigration field including the Washington, DC–based Working Group on Unaccompanied Children, the Leadership Council of the National Immigrant Justice Center and the Illinois Task Force on Unaccompanied Immigrant Children.