This year’s conference includes a special focus on Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion Programming. Workshops that will address this overarching theme include [RJ] after the session title.
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Saturday, November 3 • 8:30am - 10:00am
#FamiliesBelongTogether: How Legal Aid, Defender Organizations, and Other Legal Service Providers Are Supporting Families Separated at the Border [RJ]

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After the announcement of the federal government’s immigrant family separation policy in May 2018, lawyers sprang into action, with legal aid and defender organizations among those leading the charge to advocate for family reunification and to provide direct legal services and social work support to families and communities directly affected by the policy. This panel will highlight the work of legal aid and defender organization attorneys and social workers, in conjunction with immigrant rights and immigration legal service providers, to respond to the crisis. Panelists will also offer suggestions to NLADA members about how to get involved.


Natalia Cornelio

Criminal Justice Reform Director, Texas Civil Rights Project
Natalia Cornelio is the director of Criminal Justice Reform at the Texas Civil Rights Project. Since joining the project, Natalia has settled TCRP’s debtor’s prison lawsuit against the City of El Paso, has expanded the project’s investigations against the Texas Department of... Read More →

Shalyn Fluharty

Director, Family Detention Project, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid
Shalyn Fluharty is the director of the Family Detention Project at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid where she heads up the Dilley Pro Bono Project, which offers legal aid to migrant parents and children detained in Dilley, Texas. Before joining TRLA, she represented unaccompanied immigrant... Read More →

Mary Harper

Staff Attorney, Immigration Practice, Brooklyn Defender Services
Mary (Van Houten) Harper is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Stanford Law School. At Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), Mary represents detained noncitizens in removal proceedings through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) – the nation’s first public... Read More →

Andrea Nieves

Senior Policy Attorney, Brooklyn Defender Services
Andrea Nieves is currently a senior attorney on the Policy and Advocacy Team at Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), a public defense office in New York City. Before joining BDS, she worked as a capital defense attorney in North Carolina and a policy advocate in Jakarta, Indonesia. Andrea... Read More →

Mr. Ben Obregon

President, Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.
Ben Obregon served on the working group that formulated the merger between the Project Advisory Group (PAG) and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. He served as the vice chair for NLADA’s Civil Policy Group and as a member of the association’s board of directors and... Read More →

Saturday November 3, 2018 8:30am - 10:00am CDT
West Alabama Westin Galleria, 3rd Level