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Conferences & Symposia

2023 Symposium

Immigration & Access to Legal Resources for Migrants & Refugees

Wisconsin International Law Journal
University of Wisconsin Law School

Date: April 13 and April 14, 2023


The United States has a long history of immigration, with millions of people from all over the world coming to the U.S. to seek better lives, reunite with family, or escape persecution. One of the most significant challenges facing immigrants is access to legal resources. Immigration laws and regulations are often complex and never static, making it difficult for immigrants to navigate the legal system. Additionally, many immigrants face language barriers, discrimination, and limited financial resources, which can further hinder their ability to access legal resources.

There is significant overlap between immigration law in the U.S. and international law, particularly when it comes to the treatment of migrants and refugees. The U.S. is bound by international law and is expected to comply with its obligations under various human rights treaties and conventions. By looking to international legal frameworks, the U.S. can identify gaps and shortcomings in its own immigration policies and practices.

U.S. policy on immigration has undergone significant changes across different administrations, reflecting differing political priorities, values, and perceptions of immigration. This symposium seeks to explore the domestic and international legal frameworks that apply to immigration and explore ways to improve access to legal resources for migrants and refugees.

CLE Information

1.5 Credits for 4/13/23

Up to 4.5 Credits for 4/14/23


Day 1: Thursday, April 13, 2023

Time given is in US Central Daylight Time (CDT).
Time Event
5:00-5:30 p.m.

Opening Remarks

5:30-7:00 p.m.

Panel 1: Immigration & Access to Legal Resources

This panel will focus on the challenges created by the federal and state legal system, resources available, challenges in accessing resources, and the role of advocacy organizations.


  • Ingrid Eagly, University of California Los Angeles School of Law
  • Aissa Olivarez, Managing Attorney, Community Immigration Law Center (CILC) – Madison
  • Shefali Milczarek-Desai, University of Arizona Law School
  • Marissa Jackson Sow, University of Richmond School of Law

Day 2: Friday, April 14, 2023

Time given is in US Central Daylight Time (CDT).
Time Event
9:00 a.m.

Keynote Address

  • Erika Rosales, Director, Center for DREAMers – University of Wisconsin Law School
9:30 -11:00 a.m.

Panel 2: International Law & Immigration

This panel will focus on human rights principles related to international law and immigration.

  • John Cerone, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Sara McKinnon, University of Wisconsin
  • Lori Nessel, Seton Hall Law School
11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Panel 3: Impact of the Pandemic

This panel will discuss immigration policy changes due to the pandemic and how the pandemic affected immigrant communities.

  • Evelyn Marcelina Rangel-Medina, Temple University Beasley School of Law 
  • Wooksoo Kim, University at Buffalo School of Social Work
  • Jason Cade, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Emily Ryo, University of Southern California Gould School of Law
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.


1:30-3:00 p.m.

Panel 4: Current Issues in Immigration Law

This panel seeks to explore the latest developments in immigration law including but not limited to policy changes under the Biden Administration, Afghan resettlement, Haitian refugees, impacts from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and DACA.

  • Violeta Chapin, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Carrie Rosenbaum, Esq., Chapman University Fowler School of Law
  • Ashley Hamill, Florida State University College of Law
  • Nicole Wilson, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
3:00-3:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks

  • Dean Daniel Tokaji, University of Wisconsin Law School

Past Symposia

More information on all Symposia can be found on the University of Wisconsin Law Library’s Digital Repository’s WILJ Symposiums.



  • link to PDF 2019 WILJ Symposium Program: Lawyers and Lawyering in China and Russia: Common Challenges
  • link to PDF 2018 WILJ Symposium Program: Sustainable Development Goals and International Law: Intersections of Environmental Law, Human Rights, and Environmental Justice
  • link to PDF 2017 WILJ Symposium Program: Regional Human Rights Systems in Crisis
  • 2016 WILJ Symposium: Stamping Privacy’s Passport: The Role of International Law in Safeguarding Individual Privacy
  • 2015 WILJ Symposium: International Law Walks the Line: Border Disputes and Resolution for the 21st Century
  • 2014 WILJ Symposium: Creation of International Law: Exploring the International Law Components of Peace
  • 2013 WILJ Symposium: A Comparative Perspective on Social Justice Lawyering in Asia: Conditions, Practices and Possibilities
  • link to PDF 2012 WILJ Symposium Poster: Renewable Energy & Climate Change: Opportunities & Challenges
  • 2010 WILJ Symposium: Personal Reminiscences of David Trubek