VJIL, J.B. Moore Present Int’l Law Symposium

Julie Dostal '19
Features Editor

On February 20, 2018 the Virginia Journal of International Law, the J.B. Moore International Society, and the Immigration Law Program are putting on a day-long symposium entitled, “Immigration and Ideology: International Responses to Migration.” The Symposium begins at 12:00 P.M. with introductory remarks from Professor Emeritus David Martin, who previously spearheaded the immigration law program at the Law School. Lunch from Mezeh Mediterranean Grill will be served at 12:20 P.M. The first panel, “Catalysts: Global Causes and Motivations for Migration” aims to provide a broad overview of regional conditions that cause immigrants to leave their homes and aims to produce a robust conversation on the common and differing catalysts of immigration in the Middle East, Africa, and South America. Professor Mila Versteeg will moderate the panel featuring fellow professor Kevin Cope, Charanya Krishnaswami from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and Nikila Dasarathy from the ABA Rule of Law Initiative, Africa and Middle East Division. 

The second panel, “International Responses and Solutions to the Global Refugee Crisis,” intends to explore topics of integration, education, and child migrants to evaluate how the existing legal and policy framework of resettlement is failing migrants. The panel will be moderated by Professor David Leblang from the University of Virginia’s Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy. Participants on the panel include Professor Bernhard Streitwieser from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Professor Jessica Anderson from Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of International Migration, and Professor Marisa Ensor, who also works for the Institute. The panel will conclude with a discussion of how resettlement procedures could improve to better handle the greatest refugee crisis of our lifetime. 

Following a coffee and pastry break, the third panel of the symposium will examine the uncertain future of immigration law and policy in the United States. The panel exclusively features practitioners who will speak to how changes in immigration policy affect their clients. Ms. Deena Sharuk from Legal Aid Justice Center Charlottesville (LAJC) will moderate the panel featuring Tanishka Cruz from LAJC Charlottesville, Ms. Harriet Kuhr from the International Rescue Committee, Lieselot Whitbeck from the Erickson Immigration Group, and Edward Summers from his own private immigration practice. This panel aims to introduce and explore the inadequacies of the current American immigration landscape. The panel intends to address questions concerning asylum procedures and due process, how the current backlog affects immigrants and the greater system, and finally how policies should be adjusted for children. This panel will conclude with a forward-looking discussion of how the politics and procedures of the U.S. immigration system may be best adjusted to handle the issues addressed during the discussion. 

The symposium will conclude with a keynote address delivered by Ms. Colleen Roh Sinzdak, a senior litigation associate at Hogan Lovells. Ms. Sinzdak has briefed, argued, and won cases before multiple courts of appeals, and she was recently named an American Lawyer Litigator of the Week after successfully convincing a federal district court to issue a temporary restraining order against the President›s Executive Order regarding immigration and refugees. She will speak on the topic of the Executive Order litigation and how Big Law lawyers have a place in immigration litigation more generally. Following her keynote address, a networking reception featuring practitioners from both the public and private sector will take place from 6:00 to 7:30 P.M.