Prosecutors, activists and professors to discuss U.S. immigration detention system

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A panel of prosecutors, federal officials, Loyola University professors and social-justice advocates will discuss the United States immigration detention system at Loyola University in an all-day symposium Friday (Nov. 30) called “Dialogues on Detention: Applying Lessons from Criminal Justice Reform to the Immigration Detention System”.

For more information see the following press release:

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and nonprofit Human Rights First are hosting local and national immigration and criminal justice/corrections experts Friday, Nov. 30 for a symposium designed to tackle challenges plaguing the U.S. immigration detention system. The event will focus on lessons learned in Louisiana as the day’s panelists discuss ways to improve U.S. immigration detention practices, bringing them in line with basic human rights principles.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., at the College of Law, 526 Pine St., room 308. Follow the day’s event on Twitter at @HR1stRefugees and #HRFdetention.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds the overwhelming majority of the more than 400,000 asylum seekers and other immigrants it detains annually—under civil immigration law authority—in jails and jail-like facilities across the country, according to Human Rights First. That costs taxpayers approximately $2 billion each year. ICE holds nearly 2,000 immigration detainees in Louisiana—6 percent of the population detained nationally by ICE. Approximately 450 immigration detainees in ICE custody are held in Louisiana jails.

Among those participating in “Dialogues on Detention: Applying Lessons from Criminal Justice Reform to the Immigration Detention System” are Hiroko Kusuda, J.D., assistant clinical professor in the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice at Loyola’s College of Law; María Pabón López, J.D., dean of Loyola’s College of Law; Graymond Martin, first assistant district attorney for Orleans Parish; William P. Quigley, J.D. ’77, the Janet Mary Riley Professor of Law and director of Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice; J.J. Rosenbaum, legal and policy director, New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice; Katie Schwartzmann, director, Louisiana Office, Southern Poverty Law Center; Susan Weishar, Ph.D., migration specialist/fellow, Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola, and Julie Myers Wood, former assistant secretary, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. More information on panelists and moderators is available online.

Human Rights First’s dialogues series, which kicked off in Austin, Texas, in September, also included events in Arizona and California. The series will culminate with a set of recommendations—based in best practices and lessons learned from across the country—to help guide ICE in its efforts to realize the full potential of detention reform. It will be released at an event in Washington, D.C., in early 2013. The dialogues seek to help re-shape the national conversation on immigration detention, build alliances among stakeholders, and lay the groundwork for future improvements in policy and practice.

For more information, contact James Shields in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5888 or Corinne Duffy with Human Rights First at 202-370-3319.

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