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You are cordially invited to a special Urban Institute forum and webcast.





Monday, March 23, 2009

Noon-1:30 p.m. ET, or call (202) 261-5709.



  • Ajay Chaudry, director, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, Urban Institute (moderator)
  • James Kremer, partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP; coauthor, “Severing a Lifeline: The Neglect of Citizen Children in America’s Immigration Enforcement Policy”
  • Doris Meissner, senior fellow, Migration Policy Institute; former commissioner, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
  • John Willshire-Carrera, senior attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services
  • Others to be announced


In December 2006, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents simultaneously raided Swift & Company meatpacking plants in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, and Utah, detaining nearly 1,300 undocumented immigrants in the largest immigration enforcement action in recent history. The consequences of these raids also spread to many U.S.-born children, who faced the loss of a parent and great instability. The unique circumstances of these citizen children pose fundamental questions for our immigration law system about their rights and interests—questions that remain unresolved more than two years after the arrests. 


A new report, “Severing a Lifeline: The Neglect of Citizen Children in America’s Immigration Enforcement Policy,” highlights these problems and argues that current laws ignore the needs of the 3 million citizen children of undocumented parents. The authors contend that our laws are seriously deficient and out of step with the way children are treated in other areas of U.S. law, marginalizing what it means for them to be American citizens.


Join us for a spirited discussion of what American law, child welfare jurisprudence, and international human rights norms have to say about the “best interests of the child.” Are we neglecting children’s interests in the pursuit of immigration control? Which laws should apply to these children? How can our enforcement approach be changed—or should it be changed at all— to minimize harm to citizen children of undocumented parents? 


At the Urban Institute

2100 M Street N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C.

Lunch will be provided at 11:30 a.m. The forum begins promptly at noon.


Webcast note:

You will need to register for the webcast on the same computer you will use to listen. You can register anytime up to and during the event. To access the webcast, you can go to the same link where you registered,

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