The University of La Verne College of Law hosted the La Verne Law Review Symposium on April 7, bringing legal scholars, lawyers, activists, community members, and students together to discuss issues surrounding the U.S.-Mexico border.

The symposium, called “Law and the Border: Defining our Nation” featured a panel who addressed immigration policies and enforcement, criminal law, and social issues stemming the border.

Victor Viramontes, National Senior Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), put the day’s discussions in context

His keynote address explained the history of U.S. immigration law and policy, as well as contemporary issues stemming from the Trump administration’s approach to immigration. Throughout the event, the discussion kept in focus both the current state of border-related law and what border-related law could and should be.

Panelists Lilia Alvarez (Director of Legal Services, Central American Resources Center), Marisa Cianciarulo (Professor of Law, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law), and Kevin Johnson (Dean and Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) engaged the audience on immigration events for the panel Immigration: Policy, Law and Civil Rights, which was moderated by Professor Diane Uchimiya.

The panel Illicit Activities: Effects on the Border (featuring Catherine Carlisle, Adjunct Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law, and Opal Singleton, Training and Outreach Coordinator for the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force) focused on human trafficking, and failed efforts to stem the tide of exploitation.

The symposium concluded with the panel Economics on the Border: Dual Perspectives, during which Randy Parraz (National Director for the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Making Change at Walmart Campaign) called into question prevailing assumptions about immigrants and their desire for citizenship.

Nathalie Martin (Frederick M. Hart Chair in Consumer and Clinical Law at University of New Mexico School of Law) discussed her research on use of the banking system by immigrants. Monica Durrazo, a volunteer for Humane Borders and and artist (whose work, Migrants and Refugees is currently on display at the College of Law art gallery exhibit Fatal Beauty) shared photographs taken at the border during her work supplying water to border crosses.



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