Practical Responses to the Humanitarian Crises Behind the Exodus of Children and Families from Central America and Mexico

Children and families have been fleeing from Central America and Mexico in unprecedented numbers, seeking refuge in the US. This massive exodus has become a serious humanitarian crisis. Many communities have responded with compassion, support and innovative practices. These experiences offer both a source of hope as possible models from which we can learn and leverage more impact. What are cities, faith based coalitions, legal providers and advocates doing locally, nationally and transnationally to address this crisis? Speakers:

  • Rosalind Oliver, Supervising Attorney, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Los Angeles -- Rosalind Oliver is the Supervising Attorney for Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) Los Angeles office, one of KIND’s eight offices. KIND finds pro bono attorneys in law firms and corporations who agree to represent KIND's unaccompanied children clients in their immigration proceedings. KIND attorneys in each office provide training on representing unaccompanied children in the U.S. immigration system and comprehensive mentorship until the case is completed. Before joining KIND, Rosalind worked with Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy in Los Angeles supervising the non-immigrant visa team for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC, as well as providing counsel on all major employment-based temporary and permanent visa categories to a variety of companies. Prior to her tenure at Fragomen, she worked representing families and individuals in removal proceedings and asylum interviews, as well as family-based and employment-based permanent residence applications. During law school, Rosalind clerked for the Honorable Bruce J. Einhorn, United States Immigration Judge and founder of Pepperdine Law School's Asylum and Refugee Clinic. She has also served as a Guest Lecturer in Immigration Law at Southwestern University School of Law, her alma mater. Rosalind completed her undergraduate studies at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies.
  • Lariza Dugan Cuadra, Executive Director, Central American Resource Center, San Francisco
  • Linda Hartke, President and CEO, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) -- Linda Hartke serves as President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugees Service. For 75 years, LIRS has walked alongside migrants and refugees through ministries of service and justice. Linda is driven by a deep commitment to ensuring migrants and refugees are protected, embraced, and empowered. Before joining LIRS, Linda crafted policy on Southeast Asian refugee issues as Chief of Staff to Rep. Chet Atkins, served as Country Director with Church World Service in Cambodia, and as Executive Director of the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.
  • Martha Arevalo, Executive Director CARECEN Los Angeles
  • Yanira Arias, President, Salvadoran American National Network (SANN)
  • Isabel Vinent, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Florida Immigrant Coalition