June 11, 2012 – More than 50 attorneys and immigration specialists attended a day-long workshop Friday at the University of Houston Law Center which explored two aspects of immigration law – representing immigrants with mental disabilities and developing the tools and techniques needed in asylum cases.
The event was hosted by the Immigration Coalition of Houston comprised of the Law Center’s Immigration Clinic, the Cabrini Center of Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston, and YMCA International Services. The annual CLE workshop is named in honor of the late Law Center Professor Joseph A. Vail who founded the school’s Immigration Clinic and helped countless immigrants.
The morning session included the viewpoints of a psychologist, a licensed social worker, an attorney, and an immigration judge on how to handle an immigration proceeding while factoring in mental disabilities.
The afternoon session included presentations and panel discussions designed to provide attorneys with the skills needed to represent asylum applicants. Among the day’s highlights was a mock hearing that illustrated issues that may come up when testifying as an expert witness before the immigration court. It also provided information on how attorneys may volunteer for pro bono opportunities and detailed updates in the law.