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Joseph A. Vail Asylum Law Workshop

Vail

Friday, January 20, 2023
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm CT
In Person and Virtual (Zoom)
Danny M. Sheena Classroom, 102A

Agenda and Program

Texas MCLE approved for 4 hours, of which 2 hours are ethics

For questions regarding the event, please email Teresa Messer at tpham9@central.uh.edu.

Bios

Aisenberg

Lucas Aisenberg

Lucas is a Clinical Supervising Attorney in the Immigration Clinic at the University of Houston Law Center. He received a B.A. in Political Science at the University of Houston and a J.D. from St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, Florida. In his current position in the Immigration Clinic, Professor Aisenberg supervises law students on pro bono asylum cases and provides direct representation to adult immigrants and unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the United States. Prior to joining the Immigration Clinic, Professor Aisenberg was a staff attorney at Catholic Charities Community Services Unaccompanied Minors Program in New York City. At Catholic Charities, he provided direct representation to unaccompanied minors detained in Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters, as well as non-detained clients in Immigration Court and before the New York and New Jersey Asylum Offices.

Jimmie L. Benton

Jimmie L. Benton

Retired Immigration Judge Jimmie L. Benton is a graduate of the United State Air Force Academy, has a M.A. Degree from the University of Northern Colorado and earned his law degree from the University of Texas. His legal experience is vast. He was a Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force, a Trial Attorney for the predecessor of ICE and most recently was an immigration Judge with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dalia Castillo-Granados

Dalia Castillo-Granados

Dalia Castillo-Granados is the Director of the ABA’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy. She is a 2008 graduate of the University of Houston Law Center. Prior to working at CILA, Dalia was a Senior Attorney at Kids in Need of Defense, a Staff Attorney at Tahirih Justice Center, a Clinical Supervising Attorney at the University of Houston’s Immigration Clinic, and began her public interest career as a Greenberg Traurig, LLP Equal Justice Works Fellow with Catholic Charities’ Cabrini Center in Houston. During law school, Dalia was active in the Immigration Clinic and interned at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Catholic Charities, and was a Public Interest Law Fellow at Boat People SOS. She was previously the chair of the State Bar of Texas’ Immigration Law Task Force. She is currently an Executive Committee member of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, on the Board of Directors for the Houston Association of Women Attorneys, and on the Board of Directors for the Galveston-Houston Immigration Representation Project. She is also the president of Latino Giving Houston, a giving circle devoted to promoting philanthropy in Houston’s Latino community.

Samantha Del Bosque, Supervising Attorney, Tahirih Justice Center

Samantha Del Bosque, Supervising Attorney, Tahirih Justice Center

Samantha Del Bosque is a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center, where she participated in the Immigration Law Clinic. Samantha joined the Tahirih Justice Center April 2012; she represents people who are fleeing gender-based violence. Prior to working with Tahirih, she worked with Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston. Samantha currently serves as the local Asylum Liaison for the Texas/Oklahoma/New Mexico Chapter of AILA. She is also the chair of the Houston Immigration Legal Coordinating Council’s Asylum Thinktank. She has also served on the AILA National Committee on Asylum and Refugees. Samantha frequently speaks at conferences and CLEs on the various topics, including humanitarian immigration protection, gender-based violence, and working with survivors of trauma. Before going to law school, Samantha taught Spanish to disadvantaged and at-risk children in the Houston area. Samantha is fluent in French and in Spanish.

Guillermo De Los Reyes

Dr. Guillermo De Los Reyes

Dr. Guillermo De Los Reyes is an Associate Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies and Chair in the Department of Hispanic Studies at the University of Houston. He also serves as the Associate Director of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at UH. Dr. De Los Reyes holds a Ph.D. and a M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania (2004, 1999) and a M.A. and B.A. from the Universidad de las Américas-Puebla, Mexico (1997, 1994). Dr. De Los Reyes is the author of Herencias Secretas: Masonería, política y sociedad en México(Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla 2009). In addition, Dr. De Los Reyes has over two dozen journal articles and book chapters on gender, sexuality, Freemasonry, secret societies, and related topics. He is finishing a manuscript entitled, The Inventions and Transgressions of Sexual and Gendered Discourses in Colonial Mexican Society. He is the Editor in Chief of the academic journal, Sexuality, Gender, and Policy (Wiley 2016-present).  In addition, he serves as Vice-President for the Policy Studies Organization. He has served as a country conditions expert (Mexico) in asylum and retention and withholding cases for over ten years. 

Sheridan Green

Sheridan Green

Sheridan Green graduated from South Texas College of Law in 2012. In the same year he received the Lyndon Baines Johnson Human Rights Award for asylum cases he had won as a clerk and in clinic.  In 2014, he wrote the petition for certiorari that resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court win in Mata v. Lynch, 135 S. Ct. 2150 (2015), establishing appeals court jurisdiction to review BIA motions to reopen and laying the groundwork for equitable tolling within the Fifth Circuit. He has briefed over 100 cases with the Fifth Circuit, and his work has resulted in seven published decisions, with notable wins on questions related to Texas assault as a CIMT, as well as the “inspected and admitted” requirement for adjustment of status. He started his own practice in 2016, focusing on business immigration (particularly extraordinary ability immigrant petitions), appeals, affirmative asylum, and district court litigation. His firm has been regionally ranked Tier 1/Tier 2 in immigration by U.S. News and World Report from 2021 to 2023. 

Mendoza

Elizabeth M. Mendoza

Elizabeth M. Mendoza, J.D. is a sole practitioner attorney licensed by the state of Texas since May 1993 who practices exclusively immigration law. She is a graduate of Rice University (1990) and the University of Houston Law Center (1993). Ms. Mendoza has provided pro bono representation to immigrant clients of Catholic Charities, the YMCA International Services, and various local battered women’s shelters throughout her career. She is a frequent speaker at immigration attorney training workshops, community forums regarding know your rights presentations, and local media has interviewed Ms. Mendoza and her clients throughout the years on various immigration related topics. Ms. Mendoza provided pro bono assistance at Bush Airport in Houston, Texas after the travel ban was temporarily stayed to ensure Customs and Border Protection honored the stay. Ms. Mendoza volunteered in Harlingen, Texas for the American Bar Association’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy screening program for unaccompanied children living in U.S. custody in shelters, and in the Fall of 2019, she volunteered in Matamoros, Mexico with Project Adelante to provide legal and humanitarian assistance to asylum seekers living in the migrant camp along the Rio Grande. Currently, Ms. Mendoza is volunteering in a private effort to help resettle Afghan families in Houston, Texas.

McMillan

Teresa Messer

Teresa Messer is the Director and Professor of Practice of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Houston Law Center. Professor Messer’s own experience as the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants cultivated her desire to assist other immigrants early on in her life. This desire ultimately led her to her calling – to help immigrants navigate through the complexities of U.S. Immigration and Nationality Law. Professor Messer’s immigration legal experience, commitment to her clients, and dedication to the legal profession has been recognized by the State Bar of Texas, Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Houstonia Magazine, H Texas Magazine, and Texas Lawyer Magazine. Professor Messer has written several immigration legal articles which have appeared in publications such as the Texas Bar Journal, Law360, and the University of Houston’s Online Law Journal. She has presented on immigration law topics for organizations such as the State Bar of Texas, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Katy Bar Association, and the Houston Northwest Bar Association. Prior to joining the Immigration Clinic, Professor Messer was a private practice attorney focusing exclusively on immigration law.

Brandon Roché

Brandon Roché

Brandon Roché is based in Colorado with a 100% remote, worldwide U.S. immigration law practice focused on family and humanitarian immigration. Before starting his solo practice in 2018, he worked extensively with Unaccompanied Children both with the American Bar Association’s Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) and Catholic Charities of Houston’s Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance.

Brandon received his B.A. from Georgetown University in 2002 and his J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2008. Between undergraduate and law school, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras which is where he acquired his thick Honduran accent in Spanish.

Parker Sheffy

Parker Sheffy

Professor Parker Sheffy is a staff member of the UH Law Center’s award-winning Immigration Clinic. His work encompasses representing indigent individuals with immigration-based legal cases while simultaneously supervising and teaching law students in connection with those very cases. Mr. Sheffy represents clients with disparate immigration-based needs, including issues at the intersections of family law and immigration law, as well as criminal law and immigration law. He is active within the Greater-Houston immigration legal services community and contributes scholarship to the field. Prior to joining the Law Center in Spring 2022, Mr. Sheffy worked as a Clinical Teaching Fellow at the Cardozo School of Law in New York City. He began his career in legal education at the University of Houston Law Center as a Clinical Teaching Fellow with the Immigration Clinic in the fall of 2019. He has been published in an academic law journal and contributes to local and national media coverage pertaining to immigration-based legal and policy issues.

Magali Suárez Candler

Magali Suárez Candler

Magali Suárez Candler is the founder of Suárez Candler Law, PLLC. She is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law. At Catholic Charities’ immigration program in Houston, she was staff, then supervising, attorney for over 10 years. She then headed litigation and was a partner at Tindall & Foster then at FosterQuan (now Foster, LLP), before opening her own firm in 2014. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), served on their TSC and EOIR national liaison committees, and is former Vice Chair and Chair of their Lawyer Well-Being Committee. A former Chair of the Texas Chapter of AILA, she held other offices, was liaison for the Asylum Office and the Houston EOIR and is now Advocacy Co-Captain and Federal Litigation Liaison. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas (SBOT), served on their Committee for Laws Relating to Immigration and Nationality, was V.P. for Asylum and Refugee Issues and later V.P. for Deportation and Removal for the Immigration Law Section. She currently serves on the SBOT Commission for Lawyer Discipline. In 1999 the SBOT awarded her the J. Chrys Dougherty Legal Services Award for outstanding contributions guaranteeing indigents access to the legal system. She served on the Houston Bar Association (HBA) Gender Fairness Committee, was on the Advisory Board of the Tahirih Justice Center in Houston, Texas from its inception through 2018, and is currently on the Advisory Board of the UH Law Center’s Immigration Law Clinic. Ms. Candler received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center.

Rosemary Vega

Rosemary Vega

Rosemary Vega is an attorney with her own firm, Law Office of Rosemary Vega, PLLC.  She was licensed in November of 2000.  She received her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law in May of 2000. She received her B.A. in Political Science and minor in Spanish from Austin College in Sherman, Texas in 1997. Prior to owning her law practice, she was a partner at Tausk & Vega, where she also practiced Immigration law.  In 2003-2005, she was also the sole staff attorney at YMCA International Services in Houston.  In 2000, Ms. Vega was the Judicial Law Clerk for seven (7) Immigration Judges at the Houston Immigration Court through the Department of Justice Honors Program from 2000-2001.  Her interest in Immigration law began in the International Human Rights Clinic at St. Mary’s Law school and she has been advocating for immigrants since that time.  She has presented at many conferences for the State Bar of Texas and Texas AILA chapter and other immigration organizations.  

Ann E. Webb, Ph.D., J.D., LCSW-S 

Ann E. Webb, Ph.D., J.D., LCSW-S 

Ann E. Webb is an attorney, a licensed clinical social worker, and a 2019 Ph.D. graduate of the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.  Dr. Webb’s research focuses on the intersection of social work and the law, with a particular interest in interdisciplinary practice involving social workers and lawyers, and immigration issues affecting children and families.  She has served as faculty on collaborative projects involving social work and law students assisting detained families seeking asylum, and has developed a unique experiential learning program to engage social work students in practice arenas involving law and social work. Her scholarly agenda is informed by her experience as a lawyer and social work clinician, and by her role as an advocate for underserved populations.  As adjunct faculty at the University of Houston, Dr. Webb teaches assessment and advanced social policy, and has provided guest lectures to both social work and law students on topics relating to social work and the law, social work with immigrants and refugees, and trauma and secondary trauma as it impacts immigration law and practitioners. 

William K. Zimmer

William K. Zimmer

William K. Zimmer is the author of Approaching the Bench From Inside the Immigration Court. He received his law degree from South Texas College of Law and served as an immigration judge from 1995-2012, first in Miami and then in Houston. Prior to his time at the Immigration Court, Mr. Zimmer worked for the Immigration and Naturalization Service as an Assistant District Counsel and Deputy District Counsel.

The University of Houston Law Center is part of a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university and an EEO/AA institution.

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