Battle Over Birthright Citizenship, Postville Raids and Human Rights are Among Immigration Topics at Lawyers’ Annual Meeting in Toronto

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2011 – From the battle over birthright citizenship to the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act, immigration has remained a hot button issue in United States politics and abroad. These issues, as well as the Postville, Iowa, workplace raids, and domestic and sexual violence are chief among immigration issues to be explored at the 2011 _ Annual Meeting, Aug. 4–9, in Toronto.

With more than 1,400 legal programs, events and presentations by the foremost law experts, the ABA Annual Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals.

The 566-member House of Delegates, the association’s policy-making body, will meet on Aug. 8 and 9 in the Exhibit Hall F/G, 800 Level, South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. In addition to considering policy recommendations and voting on resolutions, the House of Delegates will bestow preeminent lawyers David Boies and Theodore B. Olson with the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor, on Aug. 8.

For more information on programming or for interview requests, contact ABA Communications and Media Relations at 202- or .

Program highlights concerning immigration issues include:

“The Battle over Birthright Citizenship: History, International Perspectives, and the Path Ahead” Recent calls to end birthright citizenship in the United States have fueled a heated debate. What impact would changes to our current birthright citizenship rule have on immigration and the U.S. population? Is there any legal basis for such a change, and what are the greater societal implications for such a major shift in policy? What does the historical record tell us about the extent and limitations of birthright citizenship? This discussion will look at these questions, as well how other nations address citizenship, and the facts and misinformation surrounding this discussion.
Aug. 4, 10:30 a.m. – noon, Room 718A, 700 Level, MTCC, South Building

“The Postville Raids and Agri-Processors Case: Internal Investigations, Criminal Prosecutions, and Immigration Consequences for Corporations and Individuals” The unprecedented workplace raid in Postville, Iowa, that grabbed the nation’s attention will be the source of discussion at this panel. The topics will include the subsequent criminal prosecutions of the workers and the corporation’s top officials; relevant case law and changes that have occurred since the raid three years ago; and the swift prosecutions of the workers, lack of immigration advice, and due process concerns in the proceedings.  Finally, the panel will discuss what worked, what didn’t, and provide guidance for practitioners on all sides as to how to better and more effectively handle these cases in the future, including preventative measures that corporations can take.
Aug. 5, 8:30 – 10 a.m., Room 705, 700 Level, MTCC, South Building,

“Human Rights, Domestic and Sexual Violence: A Cross-Border Perspective” Domestic and sexual violence will be assessed through the lens of a human rights perspective by legal experts from the United States and Canada. The experts will discuss cases including the U.S. Supreme Court case, Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, legislation, and policy impacting victims of domestic and sexual violence across borders. The history of third-party records case law and its impact on the confidentiality of victims will be discussed.
Aug. 5, 2 – 4 p.m., Flavelle House, 78 Queen’s Park Crescent West, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law

“Redefining the U.S.-Canadian Border: Current Issues in Visitation and Migration” The relationship between the United States and Canada is the closest and most extensive in the world. It is reflected in the staggering volume of bilateral trade—the equivalent of $1.6 billion a day in goods—as well as in people-to-people contact. Some 300,000 people cross the border every day.  This program will navigate U.S.–Canadian immigration issues including temporary and permanent options for migration. What are the variations between Canada and the U.S. in their immigration policies and what are the similarities including NAFTA? The discussion will include options for business and family migration.
Aug. 6, 8:30 – 10 a.m., Room 706, 700 Level, MTCC, South Building

“AIDS Turns 30: Where the Law and the Virus Are Today” The worst health crisis in human history turned 30 this year.  In June 1981 the first AIDS cases were identified in the United States. It is now a global pandemic reaching virtually every social, political and economic sector of society, and particularly affecting minority populations.  In this program the ABA AIDS Coordinating Committee, established in 1987, will examine key legal issues that bear directly on the endemic today—from intellectual property and information technology to criminal law, syringe exchange programs, sex work and sex education. The discussion will also focus on the pivotal role that lawyers and the legal profession have played, and must continue to play, in addressing these issues.
Aug. 7, 8:30-10 a.m. Confederation 6, Main Mezzanine, Fairmont Royal York

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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