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March 7, 2006

Press/Event Contact: Erin Kolodny, Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, (512) 587-9802.

Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Annual Symposium, March 23

AUSTIN, Texas―The Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights (TJCLCR) at The University of Texas School of Law presents its annual symposium entitled “Constructing America: A Discussion on Immigration and Civil Rights,” on Thursday, March 23 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the Individual Rights Section of the State Bar of Texas and will explore the social, political, and legal issues currently being discussed in relation to immigration issues in the United States.

The symposium is free to the general public; lawyers wishing to receive 7.0 hours of CLE credit must register at and will be required to pay a $50 registration

The Symposium will begin with a panel of attorneys experienced in the practice of litigation on behalf of undocumented immigrants. This group of experts will explore strategies, challenges and other issues relating to unique area of law. Speakers include James Harrington, Director of the Texas Civil Rights Project; Carlos Holguin, General Counsel for the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law; and Javier Maldonado, formerly of the Texas Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.

At 10:30 a.m., speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds will talk about public benefits available to undocumented immigrants. Topics will include housing, licenses, and education. Panelists will include Dr. Michelle Waslin, Ph.D., the Director of Immigration Policy Research at the National Council of La Raza; Krista Del Gallo from the Texas Council on Family Violence; and Alejandra Rincon, formerly of the Austin Independent School District International Welcome Center.

TJCLCR will be hosting a free luncheon in the Sheffield Room of The University of Texas School of Law with a presentation by the Honorable Lupe Salinas, Professor of Law at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, entitled “Linguaphobia: What the English-Only Movement has Created.” Salinas will discuss the controversy over bilingualism; its impact on native Spanish-speakers, as well as Constitutional questions. There will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions at the conclusion of the presentation. Please RSVP to by Tuesday, March 21.

Beginning at 1:30 p.m., the symposium will host a variety of viewpoints in “Crossing the Border.” Panelists will discuss current border enforcement strategies, as well as alternative strategies and alternative perspectives on the situation at the U.S./Mexico border. Assistant Chief Patrol Agent John Esquivel, of the U.S. Border Patrol will speak about the Border Patrol’s goals and practices. Professor Claudia San Miguel, from Texas A&M International University, will discuss alternative perspectives to the current methods. Grant Lannon and Dr. Mike Vickers, of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, Texas branch, will talk about the visible new movement towards civilian, volunteer border patrolling.

At 3:15 p.m., there will be a discussion on the current state of immigration-related legislation and policy, at both the national and Texas state level. Panelists include Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Senior Policy Associate and Counsel from the National Immigration Forum in Washington, D.C.; and Ana Yanez-Correa of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. Our speakers will address bills presently being debated in legislatures, as well as the administrative involvement in policy-making.

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