December 7-8, 2022: Defending Survivors: Strategies for Immigrant Survivors Seeking Justice

Dec 07, 2022 12:00PM—Dec 08, 2022 5:00PM


Virtual ,

Event Contact Maria Lazzarino | Email


ASISTA Virtual CLE Conference

Defending Survivors: Strategies for Immigrant Survivors Seeking Justice

     Wed, December 7th – Thur, December 8th, 2022: 12 – 5 pm ET.


Description: This 2-day conference is intended for intermediate attorneys and DOJ Accredited Representatives who have experience or interest in working with immigrant survivors in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court, as well as those who are seeking guidance on how to challenge USCIS denials of immigrant survivor relief before the agency, AAO, and in federal courts.

Speakers include national experts from ASISTA, Chamberlain Sanchez Immigration Law PLLC, Cheryl David Law, Immigrant Center for Women & Children (ICWC),  Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), The Legal Aid Society, Los Angeles Center for Law & Justice (LACLJ), Mariposa Legal, National Immigration Litigation Alliance (NILA), Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), Law Offices Of Sonia Parras PLLC, and Sunita Jain Anti-Trafficking Initiative (SJATI).

On the first day, participants will review current guidance and trends related to prosecutorial discretion and survivor-related guidance, and strategies for representing detained survivors, obtaining post-conviction relief for immigrant survivors, and representing survivors seeking VAWA cancellation. On the second day, participants will review strategies for challenging the denial of immigrant survivor relief by USCIS and identifying systemic issues to challenge in federal court. 

Session Information: All sessions will be recorded and have a 30 minute break in between.

Day ONE: Defending Survivors from Removal Wed, December 7th (12 – 5pm ET)

  • Session One: (1.25) 12-1:15 ET

Latest Discretion Strategies for Survivor Respondents: OPLA PD practices, enforcement guidance, and detention strategies

In this session, we will cover strategies for representing survivors in removal proceedings, including prosecutorial discretion with OPLA, how the ICE Victims-centered approach is being applied, and seeking the release of detained U visa applicants, including the basics of pursuing 212(d)(3) waivers in proceedings. 

Speakers:  Hannah Cartwright, Mariposa Legal; Hannah Shapiro, The Legal Aid Society NYC

Moderator: Cristina Velez, ASISTA

  • Session Two: (1.25) 1:45-3:00 ET

Post-Conviction Relief for Survivors  

An overview of when post-conviction relief is helpful to immigrant survivors and advocacy strategies for criminalized immigrant survivors, including legislation.

Speakers: Sabrina Talukder, Sunita Jain Anti-Trafficking Initiative; Michelle Carey, Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice; Rose Cahn, Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Moderator: Lia Ocasio, ASISTA

  • Session Three: (1.5) 3:30-5:00pm ET

VAWA Cancellation Redux

There were more questions regarding VAWA Cancellation than we had time to answer at our March conference. We’re revisiting this topic, with a focus on eligibility for VAWA cancellation as an abused spouse, and as the parent of an abused child, when your client might choose to proceed with VAWA cancellation as opposed to seeking termination, navigating the bars specific to VAWA cancellation, and navigating the cap.

Speakers: Angel Graf, Las Vegas Office of the Immigration Center for Women and Children; Cheryl David, Cheryl David Law

Moderator: Kelly Head, ASISTA

Day TWO:  Challenging USCIS Denials Thurs, December 8th (12 – 5pm ET)

  • Session Four: (1.5) 12-1:30 ET

Challenging Negative Decisions: Motions to Reopen/Appeal

Address common questions regarding MTRs and appeals of  negative USCIS decisions, including whether and when to appeal or file an MTR, how to use the form I-290B, preparation of a persuasive brief, and building a record for further litigation.

Speakers: Leta Sanchez, Chamberlain Sanchez Immigration Law PLLC; Sonia Parras Konrad, Law Office of Sonia Parras PLLC

Moderator: Lia Ocasio, ASISTA

  • Session Five: (1.5) 2-3:30 ET

Challenging Negative Decisions: Federal Court (1.5)

Many are wondering whether litigation is a good strategy for challenging U visa denials, and how to challenge systemic problems in adjudication or interpretation. Here we will cover the basics of putting together an APA claim, and how to build a challenge to systemic errors facing survivors in removal.

Speakers: Trina Realmuto, National Immigration Litigation Alliance; Matt Adams, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Moderator: Cristina Velez, ASISTA 

  • Session Six: (1) 4:00-5:00 ET 

Current Status of Emerging Issues in Representing Survivors

Topics TBA, may include status of advocacy relating to arrest reports, ASISTA’s FOIA efforts, and the bona        fide determination (BFD). Open Q & A .

Speakers: Kelly Head, Lia Ocasio, Leta Sanchez & Cristina Velez, ASISTA

Prices for full training:

Note: Prices for training will increase $50 starting Monday, December 5th 2022, and registration will close the day before the training on Tuesday December 6th, 2022 at 5pm ET. Processing fees apply for online payments

CLE: 8 hrs of Texas MCLE credits will be applied for this conference. Certificates of attendance will be available upon request. 

A big THANK YOU  to our sponsors at Law Office of Shara Svendsen Immigration Law, Winston & Strawn LLP, and Esperanza United for their support of immigrant survivors of violence

Questions: contact

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