As the White House and U.S. Congress hammer out the details of immigration reform, the Ohio Interfaith Immigration Coalition is holding a conference to help supporters of immigrant rights to come up to speed on the changing political landscape.
The New Administration and Immigration: The National Scene and Ohio conference will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, February 18 at the Methodist Theological School, 3081 Columbus Pike in Delaware, Ohio.
The Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Black, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, will be the keynote speaker. Rev. Black spoke about immigration justice at the 2012 UUA General Assembly in Phoenix, Arizona.
Rubén Castilla Herrera of Ohio Action Circle will moderate a discussion panel that includes local activists, legislators, a representative of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and others. Topics will include:
- Theological perspectives on immigrant justice work
- How we can advocate in Ohio for compassionate comprehensive immigration reform
- An Ohio DREAM Act and the possibility of passing a state equity tuition law
- How the Secure Communities mass deportation program impacts Ohio
- Strategizing and planning for action
Other presenters will include:
- César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández joined the Capital University Law School faculty in 2010 after serving as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Tulsa College of Law and practicing immigration law. He publishes crImmigration.com, a blog about the convergence of criminal and immigration law. His academic interests center on immigration, including teaching a seminar on the topic and publishing articles about the right to counsel, immigration imprisonment, and race-based immigration policing.
- Carol Temerson has served as the chair of the Immigration Group at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron since 2010. Under her leadership, the church has partnered with a local legal clinic where members conduct background research for immigration cases and provide transportation for court appearances. This past year, they also began teaching classes in U.S. citizenship and GED preparation, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and conversational Spanish at their own church and in local immigrant farm camps. The UUCA Immigration Group also supports local immigrant social events, visits detainees in Northeast Ohio detention facilities, and hosts forums and worship services on various aspects of immigration.
The conference is sponsored by Central Ohio Immigrant Justice, Church World Service, Catholic Latino Ministry, Cleveland Faith Immigration, Community Organizing Center (Columbus), Community Refugee Immigration Services, Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Ohio Action Circle, Ohio Council of Churches, Ohio Voice, and the Ohio Meadville District of the Unitarian Universalist Association.