All hope is not lost when the USCIS or the immigration judge deny your client’s asylum claim. This webinar will give practitioners tips for keeping an asylum claim alive when presented with some of the toughest bars, such as the one-year deadline or the particular serious crime bar. The webinar will then focus on how to successfully argue for other forms of relief such as Withholding of Removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). Participants will learn how to frame legal questions and constitutional claims to preserve arguments for judicial review on various issues. We will also discuss how to use country conditions information as evidence, including how to work with an expert witness to support your client’s case.
Presenter: Maria Baldini-Potermin, Founder – Maria Baldini-Potermin & Associates, P.C.
Maria Baldini-Potermin has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Illinois since 2004. In addition to being a frequent lecturer on deportation/removal defense, she has written extensively on the area of immigration law and crimes. Her writings include manuals on the effects of criminal convictions for noncitizens in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and articles for the Indiana Defender. She is the author of Defending Non-Citizens in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin (2009), the definitive work on immigration law and crimes within the jurisdiction of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Ms. Baldini-Potermin is also the update editor for Immigration Law & Crimes, by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Dan Kesselbrenner, and Lory Rosenberg. She is the author of Immigration Trial Handbook (Thomson West) and the author of a chapter in A Judges Guide to Immigration Law in Criminal Proceedings (American Bar Association, 2004). She is active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) on the local and national levels, and she has served on several committees. In July 2010, Maria was the recipient of AILA's Edith Lowenstein Award for Excellence in Advancing the Practice of Immigration Law. Maria serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.
Co-Presenter/Expert Witness: Dr. Thomas Davies Jr.
Dr. Thomas Davies Jr. has testified as an expert witness in more than 450 asylum, withholding and Convention against Torture (CAT) claims in the last 14 years. Using Dr. Davies' testimony as the basis for its 2000 land-mark, precedent-establishing decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that gay males from Mexico did indeed constitute a particular social group, and, as such, were entitled to political asylum in the United States. Hernandez-Montiel v. INS, 225 F.3d 1084,1093 (9th Cir. 2000). Subsequently, the Ninth Circuit its Hernandez-Montiel decision in Reyes-Reyes v. Ashcroft, 384 F.3d 1163, 1172 (9th Cir. 2004), in which Dr. Davies served as the expert witness for the appeal of this case to the Ninth Circuit and then on remand. The following year, Hernández-Montiel was again reaffirmed in Boer-Sedano v. Gonzalez, 418 F.3d 1082 (9th Cir.2005). Dr. Davies served as a consultant in this case as well. He served as the expert witness in several hundred more LGBT cases before the Immigration Courts around the U.S.
Moderator: Lourdes Martinez, ILRC Staff Attorney
Lourdes, an immigrant herself, spent her childhood in central Mexico before moving with her family to the United States. Before joining ILRC, she worked as an immigration attorney at the Tahirih Justice Center in the DC metropolitan area, where she represented immigrant women and girls survivors of gender-based violence on immigration matters. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts from Rice University and her Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC, where she was awarded the JB & Maurice Shapiro Public Service Fellowship for her dedication to public interest law. While in law school, she worked on international human rights litigation involving cases from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean both, with the International Human Rights Clinic at GWU and as a law clerk with the Center for Justice and International Law in San Jose, Costa Rica. She also worked with the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition, providing legal services and Know Your Rights presentations for immigrant detainees in Virginia. Finally, she spent a year with the Public Defender Service of Washington, DC, directly representing criminal defendants before the U.S. Parole Commission and drafting briefs for criminal court. Lourdes began her career in immigration law as a paralegal at Tindall & Foster, PC in Houston, Texas. She is fluent in Spanish and French.