Immigration and Refugee Summit - Navigating Complex Policies within a Broken System
Saturday, February 25th from 10:00 am to noon
Rooms W 116/117
101 West 3rd Street
Davenport, IA (map)
Join PACG and our co-sponsors One Human Family-QCA and Quad Cities Interfaith as we present "Navigating Complex Policies within a Broken System" on Saturday, February 25th from 10:00 am to noon at Eastern Iowa Community College in Davenport, IA.
The purpose of the summit is to inform participants of the various laws and regulations that affect immigrants and refugees, including visa processing, granting asylum, entrance quotas, available resources, and protections. Updates on current legislation as well as challenges with implementation will be discussed.
Spanish translation will be provided.
Our panelists (below) will inform the audience from their unique perspectives and experiences. They will participate in a Q&A session to discuss specific problems with the current laws in order to identify potential solutions that can be acted upon.
Summer Allchin has been a solo practitioner with Allchin Law Office, PLLC in Muscatine, Iowa since 2012. Summer practices exclusively in immigration law, focusing primarily on family-based immigration, consular processing, waivers, citizenship applications, and domestic abuse issues, such as Violence Against Women (VAWA) and U visas (nonimmigrant victims of abuse that occurred within the US) cases. Prior to opening her own law firm, Summer was an Associate Attorney with a small immigration law firm in St. Paul, Minnesota. She also worked as a family and immigration staff attorney with Mid-Minnesota Legal Services in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Summer received her law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2007, where she was very active in the immigration clinic and received the “Michelle R. Bennet Award for Outstanding Client Services.” She received her B.A. in International Relations and Nordic Area Studies from Augsburg College in 2002. Summer is admitted to practice law in Iowa and Minnesota. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and regularly volunteers with the Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice immigration clinic in Columbus Junction, Iowa. Ms. Alchin will talk about her work and the obstacles her clients face.
Karina Garnica and Gricelda Garnica are Immigration Counselors at the Catholic Diocese of Davenport. They have more than 20 years of experience in legal family reunification and also help DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. They will discuss their work and obstacles that affect the communities they serve.
Mayra Hernandez was born in Mexico and came to live in the United States when she was four years old. She is a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient. Mayra is a first-generation college student and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Iowa. Currently, she is a Community Organizer with Quad Cities Interfaith and her main goal is to identify and develop leaders in the QCA to use their voices and their stories to be powerful. She will talk about her own personal experiences, policies that affect DACA, and what needs to happen in the future.
Ratko Rastovic is the Program Director for World Relief Quad Cities. He arrived in Davenport as a refugee from the former Yugoslavia in 1999 and has been employed by World Relief Quad Cities since 2000, presently as Program Director. He is a partially Accredited Representative for the Department of Justice, which allows him to represent individuals before the Department of Homeland Security.
Fred Tsao is the Senior Policy Counsel at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In this position, he provides technical support, trainings, and presentations on immigration-related topics to service providers, immigrant community organizations, and others who work with immigrants. He also provides updates and analysis of changes in immigration policies and procedures to ICIRR members and allies, and assists with the coalition's legislative advocacy efforts. A self-described “recovering attorney,” Fred practiced law at the Rockford office of Prairie State Legal Services, where he worked after receiving his law degree from the University of Michigan. He has also worked with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation, and the Missouri Public Interest. Mr. Tsao will speak in depth about what the ICIRR does and some of the current issues that affect immigrant and refugee rights.
We are really excited to bring this group of panelists who have diverse experiences with immigrant and refugee populations to educate the public on the various obstacles and challenges faced by these populations. Our hope is that with a better understanding of what these populations face, we can work to make a difference.