This webinar is an advanced training for practitioners familiar with the basics of asylum law. Attorney presenters will discuss strategies and challenges of building a case for asylum in gang-based claims. Dr. Thomas Boerman, specialist in Central America with expertise on gangs, organized crime, and gender and youth issues will provide updates on the situation in Central America and Mexico.
Erin Quinn, ILRC Staff Attorney
Erin Quinn has been an immigration defense attorney for over 10 years and holds a joint degree in law and public policy (JD/MPP) from the University of Michigan. At the ILRC, Erin’s work focuses on building capacity of organizations and practitioners to assist immigrants. She conducts trainings and provides legal expertise on immigration law through ILRC’s Attorney of the Day program. In addition, Erin has contributed to numerous ILRC publications as author or editor, including Removal Defense: Defending Immigrants in Immigration Court; Essentials of Asylum and many others. Prior to coming to the ILRC, Erin represented immigrants in all aspects of their immigration matters, with an emphasis on removal defense and complex cases. She was owner and attorney at her own firm for 5 years after defending immigrants as an associate at the Law Office of Robert B. Jobe. Her experience in immigration law and policy includes working as a fellow for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, EU headquarters in Belgium; clerking for the Immigration Court of San Francisco; and teaching courses as a lecturer at CSU Eastbay. Originally from Fresno, California, Erin loves teaching, language and travel. She lived in Romania for over two years as a Peace Corps volunteer and worked in Hungary as a teacher trainer. In addition she has traveled, studied and taught in Central America, South Africa and Europe. Erin is on the Advisory Council for the Northern California Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), in which she serves as Pro Bono Coordinator and Liaison for Consumer Protection. She is a member of the California Bar.
Thomas Boerman, Ph. D.
Thomas has been involved with the gang issue in the U.S. and Latin America since 1995. He has worked as a consultant to numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations addressing the gang phenomenon in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, and Mexico including the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the U.S. Agency for International Development, The World Bank, Save the Children—United Kingdom, and over a dozen private U.S.-based development organizations. In addition to numerous non-publicly available documents, he has authored or contributed to numerous reports and articles on gangs in general and in Latin America in particular, and presented on a broad range of issues related to gangs at approximately 150 events throughout the U.S. Since 2006, he has been credentialed as an expert witness and provided testimony in over 300 Central American-Mexican gang, organized crime, gender-based and/or sexual orientation immigration matters in U.S. and Canadian immigration courts and provided numerous trainings to a broad range of immigration professionals.
Eunice Lee, Co-Legal Director – Center for Gender and Refugee Studies
As Co-Legal Director at CGRS, Eunice helps oversee strategic litigation, policy advocacy, and research on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers. She also coordinates CGRS's technical assistance and training programs. Previously, she worked at the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project (ACLU IRP), where she began as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the New York office, focusing on the education rights of immigrant students. She later joined ACLU IRP's San Francisco office, where she litigated class action challenges to prolonged and mandatory immigration detention. Eunice also practiced and taught refugee and asylum law as the Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching and Advocacy Fellow at Harvard Law School's Immigration and Refugee Clinic. She received her B.A. from Stanford University with honors and distinction and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was co-Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, President of the Pacific Islander/Asian/Native American Students Association, and Student Director of the Schell Center for International Human Rights. After graduating from law school, Eunice clerked for the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Eunice is pursuing a Ph.D. in Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley.