Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Hosts “Civil Rights on the Border” Symposium

Feb. 25, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — The University of Texas School of Law's Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights and the Immigration and Nationality Section of the State Bar of Texas will co-sponsor a symposium about the controversial immigration issues on the United States-Mexico border on Tuesday, March 1.

The symposium, "Civil Rights on the Border," will be held in the Law School's Eidman Courtroom from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

James C. Ho, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Dallas, is the keynote speaker. Ho has more than a decade of government service, most recently as solicitor general of Texas, and a 22-2 record as lead appellate or trial counsel in federal and state courts. He will speak about birthright citizenship and the 14th amendment, a topic that has gained him much notoriety. Ho has a diverse and notable background, which includes clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The symposium will also feature practitioners whose careers involve studying and solving complex immigration issues. They include Barbara Hines, co-director of the Immigration Clinic at UT Law; Lisa Graybill, legal director at the ACLU of Texas; and Andrea Black, the executive director of the Detention Watch Network. They will team up on a "Detention Centers" panel to discuss their respective roles in the recent T. Don Hutto litigation as well as the state of detention centers.

José Torres-Don, a recent graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, will speak at the symposium on behalf of undocumented students who have a dream of having the opportunity to attend college and to be successful upon graduation. Torres-Don, along with 22 other undocumented college graduates, staged a sit-in in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Senator Harry Reid last June to demand he put the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act (the DREAM Act) on the Congressional agenda this legislative session.

Horatio Aldredge, a federal public defender for the Western District of Texas, will discuss the trials and tribulations of "Operation Streamline," a program that brings low-level criminal charges against all illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The program has led to skyrocketing federal immigration prosecutions.

In addition, the following experts will serve as panelists on the "Birthright Citizenship" panel: Dr. Gary Endelman, a board certified attorney in Immigration and Nationality Law from the State Bar of Texas; Dr. Ronald Trowbridge, a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation; and Dan Kowalski, an immigration litigation attorney at the Fowler Law Firm in Austin.

For more information visit the symposium Web site for the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights or contact Kristin Housh, the symposium chair for the Journal, at khoush@mail.utexas.edu.

For more information, contact: Laura Castro, director of media relations, School of Law, 512-825-9525 (cell).