11th Virginia Immigrant Advocates Summit – Program

Summit Goals:

  1. To educate and motivate diverse stakeholders in addressing the multiple needs and issues impacting immigrant communities in Virginia;
  2. To identify concrete rallying points around which advocates, and stakeholders can mobilize themselves to take immediate action;
  3. To identify and understand the many challenges facing Virginia as a result of the state’s changing demographics and develop positive means to address those challenges and promote community reconciliation;
  4. To create a forum for advocates and stakeholders to plan and develop action steps that address the specific concerns of the immigrant communities they serve;
  5. To create a safe place where advocates and stakeholders can form supportive networks that actively advocate for immigrant communities and their families. 

Summit Program:

Day 1 – Tuesday, November 17, 2020
9:00am   9:10am    Introduction and welcome remarks                                    Summit overview MC of the event: Beatriz Amberman, Chair, Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations.  
09:10am – 10:40am    Virginia Legislative Update from the 2020 General Assembly, Special Session and upcoming 2021 General Assembly – This plenary session will discuss legislative victories during the 2020 Virginia General Assembly that impact immigrant communities in VA such as in-state tuition for immigrant students regardless of their legal status and eviction relief during the pandemic. It will also  provide a legislative forecast for the 2021 General Assembly such as advocacy efforts to strengthen power of attorney and guardianship in case of detention or deportation and other potential legislative issues. Panelists: Moderator – Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, Executive Director, Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations, Senior Lead Organizer, Legal Aid Justice Center. Kim Bobo, Executive Director, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. Claire Gastañaga, Executive Director, ACLU VA. Paola Choque Villarroel, External President, UndocuMason Sarah Pacilio, Network Manager, Appleseed Network  
10:40am – 10:50amBreak
10:50am – 11:50amVirginia new driver’s license legislation and implementation: what we need to do, and advocacy to protect privacy of beneficiaries – This workshop will discuss all the requirements of the new driving privilege card (DPC) law that passed the Virginia General Assembly this year. It is estimated that 250,000 Virginia residents will be applying for a DPC under this new law and as such, it is imperative that service providers, immigrant rights advocates, and beneficiaries know how to navigate this new application process that will go into effect January 1, 2021. This workshop will discuss the efforts to protect the privacy information of beneficiaries of the new driving privilege card law in the upcoming 2021 Virginia General Assembly. Panelists: Jonathan Cano, community organizer with Centreville Immigration Forum (moderator). Yaneth Lopez, member, Drive Virginia Forward. Jonathan Cano, Community Organizer, Centreville Immigration Forum and Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, Legal Director, Immigrant Advocacy Program, Legal Aid Justice Center.  
11:50 am – 12:00pm  Break.
12:00pm – 1:00pmPolice Reform, BLM and immigrants – In the wake of George Floyd’s killing and other examples of police violence, people of color have come together to combat the systemic racism that permeates law enforcement. The Virginia General Assembly made some progress, but much more is needed to achieve equal justice. This panel will discuss the evidence showing disparity in arrests and use of force against Black and Latino people, and special issues faced by immigrants due to local law enforcement cooperation with ICE. Panelists have been engaged at the state and local level in reforming police forces, as well as sheriffs, and will share solutions and strategies. Panelists: Moderator – Fazia Deen, Deputy Outreach Director, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center. Sean Perryman, President, Fairfax County NAACP. Luis Aguilar, State Director, CASA Virginia. Diane Burkley Alejandro, Lead Advocate, ACLU People Power Fairfax.  
1:00pm – 1:10pmClosing of the day: Maribel Castañeda, Director of Appointments and Director of Latino Outreach Governor Ralph S. Northam.
Day 2 – Wednesday, November 18, 2020
9:00am – 9:10am  Welcome 2nd day and instructions MC of the day: Alice Foltz, Co-Founder, Centreville Immigrantion Forum
9:10am-  – 10:40am  Analysis of the impact of the 2020 General Elections on federal immigration law – This panel will provide a debriefing on how the 2020 General Elections could reshape federal immigration law and policy including: protecting the DACA and TPS policies, rolling back immigration restrictionist policies like changes to the public charge rule and renewing protections for refugees, and the possibility for federal legislation to protect Dreamers and their families and the passage of comprehensive immigration reform.     Panelists: Nina Patel – Legislative Assistant for Immigration from Congressman. Bobby Scott’s office. Veda Beltran – Legislative Assistant for Immigration from Senator Kaine’s office. Monica Berrera – Director of the Immigration Hub.Irene Shin, Executive Director for the Virginia Civic Engagement Table, and Monica Sarmiento, ED from VACIR (Moderator)
10:40am-  – 10:50amBreak
10:50am – 11:50am  Combatting ICE Detention in Virginia and Across the Nation- Under the Trump Administration, the number of immigrants detained by ICE skyrocketed, as did the average length of detention. Virginia was no exception to this rule, with a second ICE detention center opening in Caroline County.  Medical care in ICE detention facilities is infamously poor, and the ICA-Farmville detention center had the worst COVID-19 outbreak of any detention center in the nation; complaints of abuse and excessive force run rampant. At the same time, states from California to Illinois to Virginia are passing laws to try to curb some of the worst abuses and push back against privately owned detention centers.   Are such laws helpful steps towards the goal of abolishing ICE detention, or do they merely sugarcoat the poison? Do local campaigns to close down ICE detention centers in progressive states help reduce the total number of people detained or do they merely shift the location of detention to less hospitable sites in places like Texas and Louisiana? How does the struggle against ICE detention tie in to the broader abolitionist movement to end incarceration in all its forms? This panel will discuss issues surrounding ICE detention in Virginia and nationwide. Moderators: – Luis Oyola, Community Organizer, Legal Aid Justice Center and Mary Lareau, Congregation Action Network. Panelists: Grisel Ruiz, Supervising Attorney, Immigrant Legal Resource Center.Silky Shah, Executive Director, Detention Watch Network. Paola Henriquez, Community Organizer, La ColectiVA, Free Them All VA Coalition. Madhvi Venkatraman, Community Organizer, Sanctuary DVM  
11:50pm –12:00pmBreak  
12:00pm-1:00pmSpeaking for the Immigrants Yet to Come – For at least 40 years–from amnesty under Reagan to the Schumer bill under Obama to Trump’s short-lived proposal to trade DACA for a border wall–immigration policy in the United States has often placed benefits for immigrants currently here up against enforcement and restrictions for immigrants yet to come.  Even DACA, the most important legalization program of this generation, drew an arbitrary chronological line on a calendar and categorically prohibited anyone who came to the United States even one day after that cutoff date from applying, without exceptions.  With the possibility of immigration law changes in Congress and the White House, this panel will discuss advocacy strategies to break out of this dichotomy that ultimately harms the immigrant community, and how to protect those future immigrants who have yet to migrate to the United States, whether because they are stuck in Mexico under the MPP or whether because they have yet to leave Honduras or Haiti. Moderator: Laurie Ball Cooper, Legal Director, Ayuda. Panelists: Nicole Ramos, Refugee Program Director, Al Otro Lado. Jesse Franzblau, Senior Policy Analyst,  National Immigrant Justice Center. Ivan Yacub, founder, Yacub Law Office 
1:00pm – 1:10pmClosing of the summit and call for action:   Delegate Elizabeth Guzmam, 31st House of Delegates District  

Organized by ACLU People Power Fairfax, American Civil Liberties Union – Virginia (ACLU VA) Centreville Immigration Forum (CIF), Congregation Action Network (CAN), Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center, Drive Virginia Forward (DVF)  Dreamer Mothers In Action (DMIA), Edu-Futuro, Just Neighbors, Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC), Mason DREAMers, Sin Barreras (Without Barriers), Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP), Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights (VACIR) Virginia Coalition of Latino Organizations (VACOLAO)

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