The State Bar of Texas has rolled out a program to help the refugee children in Texas and volunteer attorneys are needed. Here are details on the upcoming training seminars in Dallas, there are also events in Houston and San Antonio. Here is the form you can fill out to volunteer, or attend a training seminar.
- Wednesday, July 30: Informational session: “Unaccompanied Refugee Minors & Humanitarian Crisis at the Border: What’s Going On and What Can Attorneys Do?” 6-7 p.m., Belo Mansion, 2101 Ross Ave., Dallas, 75201. RSVP to Alicia Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsored by the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association.
- Thursday, July 31: CLE (.25 ethics): “Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Training through Human Rights Initiative,” noon-1 p.m., HRI Offices, 2801 Swiss Ave., Dallas, 75204. RSVP to Elisabeth Hagberg email@example.com. Sponsored by the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas.
- Friday, Aug. 1, CLE (.25 ethics): “Special Immigrant Juvenile Status Training through Human Rights Initiative,” noon-1 p.m., Perkins Coie, 500 N. Akard, Ste. 3300, Dallas, 75201. RSVP to Elisabeth Hagberg firstname.lastname@example.org. Sponsored by the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas.
It seems that local cities and counties (which sadly includes Kaufman County) are racing against eachother topass symbolic ordinances to deny housing or other assistance to these children. Illegal immigrants are the newest “other“, a political football for demagogues to spike for the fans of authoritarianism.
If being a criminal defense lawyer has taught me anything, it is that laws are often in juxtaposition with basic morality and human decency. Being illegal doesn’t make an act wrong, any more than being legal makes an act right. The fact that these children are undocumented or ILLEGAL doesn’t change the fact that we owe a duty to the least among us, and as a nation of immigrants we should rise to the occasion to help these children in a time of crisis.
One thing that is missing in the current political discussion is the acknowledgement of our government’s role in creating this refugee crisis. Our war on drugs has empowered violent drug cartels throughout Latin America. Would you want your children to live in a nation with rampant cartel violence? Why should the parents of these children want any different?
If we are serious about reducing the demand for immigrants to come to America, we need to choose a new supplier for narcotics. That’s not all, policies from farm subsidies (corporatism) to our support of “regime change” during the cold war have all contributed to these huddled masses yearning to breath free at our border. That’s my quick way of saying we broke it, we bought it.
Of course for authoritarians the only answer to any problem is more law enforcement and more government; build a wall, send the National Guard etc. It’s that type of troglodyte logic that gave us a drug war in the first place. We can’t arrest our way out of an immigration crisis any more than we can arrest our way out of the public health crisis of addiction. There is no limited government version of a millitarized border. I find it odd that the party that speaks the loudest about limited government and liberty is rabidly endorsing our own Berlin Wall on the Rio Grande.
I hope that lawyers across the State who have some experience in immigration law will come forward to help these children in their time of need. Lots of lawyers complain about the State Bar, but this is a time to thank Bar President Trey Apffel for his work coordinating this legal relief effort.