Day 1: This training will begin with a review of the general requirements for naturalization including continuous residence, physical presence, good moral character, the English and Civics requirements, and the red flag issues that can cause an applicant to be denied or even deported. We will then review the new naturalization application form (N-400), and cover the various ways in which issues such as absences, good moral character, and crimes may arise on the new form. The first part of Day 1 is designed for new practitioners who want an introduction to naturalization. In the latter part of the session we will cover the new naturalization application, which is geared toward new and experienced practitioners.
Day 2: This is an advanced training. We will provide a more detailed analysis of some of the eligibility criteria for naturalization, including advanced good moral character issues and updates on how criminal convictions can affect eligibility. We also will discuss tips for filing a Freedom of Information Act Request. During the good moral character discussions, we will delve into the reasons why some naturalization applicants could be deportable, as well as how failure to register for the selective service, failure to pay child support, failure to file income taxes, and other issues can affect naturalization applications. During the crimes discussion, we will review the consequences of certain types of criminal convictions on applicants’ eligibility to naturalize and provide updates on the categorical approach used to assess these convictions in court.
Location: San Francisco (venue TBD)
Eric Cohen, ILRC Executive Director
Has been with the ILRC since 1988 and has extensive experience training attorneys, paralegals, community advocates, and organizers on a variety of immigration law, immigrants’ rights, and leadership development topics. Eric is a national expert on naturalization and citizenship law and is the primary author of the ILRC’s manual entitled, Naturalization and U.S. Citizenship: The Essential Legal Guide for Legal Practitioners. Eric has served as a liaison between community groups and CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) officials for the San Francisco Bay Area since 1994. Additionally, Eric helped develop ILRC's community model for effectively processing naturalization applications in groups and trained both legal workers and lay advocates in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, and works with community organizers and others on voter education for naturalized citizens. Prior to working at the ILRC, Eric worked with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Labor Immigrant Assistance Project where he worked on legalization and union organizing campaigns. He is conversant in Spanish.
Kathy Brady, ILRC Senior Staff Attorney,
Kathy has served with the ILRC since 1987 and has contributed to numerous ILRC projects. Kathy graduated from Stanford University and Boalt Hall School of Law. She taught immigration law as an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University and New College School of Law, and supervised students at the Stanford University Law School Immigration Clinic. Her expertise includes the immigration consequences of criminal convictions; issues affecting immigrant children and mixed families; immigration consultant and consumer fraud; naturalization; family immigration; legal status for immigrant victims of domestic violence through the Violence Against Women Act provisions (VAWA); and trial skills. She is the primary author of Defending Immigrants in the Ninth Circuit (formerly California Criminal Law and Immigration), and for many years was co-author of the section on defending noncitizens in the CEB manual California Criminal Law: Procedure and Practice. She also is a co-author of the ILRC's Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and the Immigration Benchbook for Juvenile and Family Courts. She has helped found coalitions and projects to address these issues, including serving as a co-founder of the Defending Immigrants Partnership and the Immigrant Justice Network. She authored briefs in key Ninth Circuit cases on immigration and crimes. In 2007, she received the Carol King award for advocacy from the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and she served as a Commissioner to the ABA Commission on Immigration from 2009-2012. Prior to working at the ILRC, Kathy was in private practice with the immigration firm of Park and Associates. She is conversant in Spanish.
Alison Kamhi, ILRC Staff Attorney
Alison is a dedicated immigrant advocate who brings significant experience in immigration law to the ILRC. Prior to the ILRC, Alison worked as a Clinical Teaching Fellow at the Stanford Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic, where she supervised removal defense cases and immigrants' rights advocacy projects. Before Stanford, she represented abandoned and abused immigrant youth as a Skadden Fellow at Bay Area Legal Aid and at Catholic Charities Community Services in New York. While in law school, Alison worked at the UNHCR, the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, and Greater Boston Legal Services Immigration Unit. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Julia Gibbons in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Alison enjoys playing the piano and traveling. Before law school, she received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the rise of neo-Nazism and anti-immigrant sentiment in former East Germany. She has also lived in Russia, France, Cambodia, and Madagascar. Alison received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. from Stanford University.