Immigrants who are alleged to be involved with gangs are top immigration enforcement priorities for the Department of Homeland Security. This webinar will discuss what gangs and gang databases are, the over-inclusive process law enforcement employs to allege gang membership, and how allegations of gang membership arise in and impact immigration cases. In addition, we will share best practices for how to combat unfounded allegations of gang membership in immigration cases, based on a national survey of advocates conducted in fall 2017.
Rachel Prandini, Immigrant Youth Project Attorney, Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Rachel Prandini is the ILRC’s Immigrant Youth Project Attorney based in San Francisco. Rachel focuses on immigrant youth issues, including unaccompanied minors and immigrant youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Rachel provides technical assistance and trainings to immigration and state court attorneys, social workers, and judges. She works on statewide and national policy that affects the rights of immigrant youth and is frequently consulted for her expertise in Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. Rachel co-authored the ILRC’s publication Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Other Immigration Options for Children and Youth.
Prior to joining the ILRC, Rachel represented detained and released unaccompanied minors in removal defense and led a project focusing on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status at Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project in Los Angeles. While at Esperanza, Rachel also performed "Know Your Rights" work in southern California immigration detention centers for minors. Previously, Rachel worked as an associate at Paul Hastings, LLP and volunteered as a Child Advocate for unaccompanied minors.
Rachel earned her law degree from the University of California at Davis, where she was a member of the Immigration Law Clinic and worked on complex deportation defense cases and detention issues. She received her undergraduate degree from Westmont College, where she double-majored in philosophy and political science. Rachel is admitted to the bar in California. She is conversant in Spanish.
Laila Hlass, Professor of Practice, Director of Experiential Learning, Office of Experiential Learning & Public Interest Programs - Tulane University Law School
Laila Hlass is the Director of Experiential Learning and Professor of Practice at Tulane Law school, where her teaching and scholarship focus on law, policy and practices that affect access to justice within the immigration law regime for particularly vulnerable communities, as well as emerging pedagogy and practices in experiential learning.
She regularly speaks about migration, refugees and immigrant children and has written op-eds for the Boston Globe and appeared on NBC News online.
Before joining Tulane Law School in 2017, she taught at Boston University School of Law as a clinical associate professor, at Georgetown University Law Center as a clinical teaching fellow and at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law as a staff attorney and Equal Justice Works fellow in the Immigration Clinic. While at Loyola, she also directed the Office of Law Skills and Experiential Learning on an interim basis.
She serves on the board of the Clinical Legal Education Association. While in law school, she co-founded the Student Hurricane Network, which recruited and placed more than 5,500 law students in pro bono assignments in regions affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.