Loyola University Chicago

School of Law


"(Un)Documented: Human Impact of Our Immigration Policies and Advocacy Strategies"

Friday, November 11, 2016
8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

To register, email Symposium Editor Ji Hwang, at jhwang9@luc.edu.

The Illinois MCLE Board approved this program for 4.5 hours of General MCLE credit. 

Symposium Brochure (PDF)


8:30 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Breakfast and Registration

9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

  • Dean Michael J. Kaufman, Loyola University Chicago School of Law

9:30a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Featured Speaker: Story of the First Undocumented Immigrant to Practice Law in Illinois

  • Irakere Picon, Attorney and Activist

10:00 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. Session 1 - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

  • Irakere Picon, Attorney and Activist
  • Nebula Li, Community Activism Law Alliance
  • Kalman Resnick, Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym., Lttd.
  • Luis Huerta-Silva, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Right
  • Michael Santomauro, Santomauro Law

11:10 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. Break

11:20 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Session 2 - Unaccompanied Minors at the U.S.-Mexico Border

  • Katherine Kaufka Walts, Loyola University Chicago School of Law
  • Hillary Richardson, National Immigrant Justice Center
  • Kendra H.M. Scheuerlein, Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd.

12:30 p.m. - 12:40 p.m. Break

12:45 p.m. - 1:35 p.m.  Session 3 - Crossover Between Immigration and Criminal Law

  • Maria Baldin-Potermin, Maria Baldini-Potermin & Associates, P.C.

1:35 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Break

1:45 p.m. - 2:55 p.m. Session 4 - What’s Next and How to Get Involved?

  • Priscilla Orta, Community Activism Law Alliance
  • Nubia Willman, LAF
  • Darlene Gramigna, American Friends Service Committee
  • Rebecca Shi, Illinois Business Immigration Coalition

2:50 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Closing Remarks & Reflections

Featured Speaker:

Irakere Picon is an attorney and activist. As an undocumented immigrant, he successfully lobbied the Illinois state government to enact a law allowing undocumented immigrants to take the bar exam and became the first undocumented immigrant licensed to practice law in the state of Illinois this October. He has worked at Community Activism Law Alliance as a staff attorney. He graduated from Northern Illinois University College of Law. Prior to law school, he was the Executive Assistant at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights in Chicago.

Session 1:

Nebula Li is a staff attorney with Community Activism Law Alliance (“CALA”) and committed to engaging with communities to advance social change. Before starting at CALA, Nebula practiced immigration, criminal defense, public benefits and civil rights law at Legal Council for Health Justice (formerly known as AIDS Legal Council of Chicago), Shiller*Preyar Law Offices, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago and Justice for Our Neighbors. Nebula graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 2011. Nebula also interned at Immigration Equality and Harvard Immigrant & Refugee Clinic/Greater Boston Legal Services.

Kalman Resnick is a shareholder with Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym., Ltd. Mr. Resnick’s almost 40 years of experience as an immigration law practitioner and his vast knowledge of a multiplicity of immigration practice areas contributes to his ability to advocate for and counsel his clients in the field of immigration law. He has litigated immigration cases before the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the U.S. District Court, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He graduated from University of Michigan Law School.

Luis Huerta-Silva is an administrative relief regional trainer for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. He is also a Coordinator Sueños Sin Fronteras: Making College Dreams a Reality, an organization encouraging Latino high school students in South Bend to pursue a higher education while embracing their culture and giving back to their community. He graduated from University of Notre Dame with a BA in Political Science and Latino Studies.

Michael Santomauro is founder and principal attorney for Santomauro Law. Mr. Santomauro practice focuses on helping people navigate the complex immigration system to develop affordable legal solutions best tailored to meet their needs. He has worked in the area of immigration law since 2008, and recently completed a grant-funded position with the DePaul Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic focused on Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and attends local Chicago chapter meetings. He graduated from DePaul University College of Law.

Session 2:

Katherine Kaufka Walts is the director of the Center for the Human Rights of Children at Loyola University Chicago, which focuses on promoting the rights and dignity of children by addressing local and global issues facing children via multidisciplinary scholarship and research, outreach and education, and advocacy. Prior to joining Loyola, she served as the executive director of the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA). At IOFA, she developed several projects in the U.S. and abroad advancing the rights of children and youth, including a program to develop the capacity of child welfare system to better respond to child trafficking and exploitation cases. She also managed the Counter-Human Trafficking project at the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she successfully represented victims of human trafficking in the U.S. within immigration and criminal justice proceedings under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Hillary Richardson is a staff attorney with National Immigrant Justice Center’s (NIJC) Asylum Project, where she focuses her work on obtaining relief for unaccompanied immigrant children, often in the form of asylum or Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Hillary also provides technical support to family law attorneys on cases involving SIJS predicate orders from Illinois state courts. Prior to joining NIJC, Hillary worked in family law at LAF’s Children and Families Practice Group, and served as a staff attorney at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Tacoma, Washington, where she provided legal orientation and removal defense for detained adults. Before attending law school, she worked as a paralegal and BIA accredited representative with NIJC’s Adult Detention project. She graduated from DePaul University College of Law.

Kendra H.M. Scheuerlein is an associate with Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. She concentrates her practice in the areas of immigration and nationality matters. These include family-based immigration issues, naturalization, asylum, U visa, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival applications. Her practice also encompasses a wide breadth of business-related immigration topics, including nonimmigrant work visas, and employment based permanent residence applications. She also represents clients in removal proceedings before the Department of Homeland Security. Ms. Scheuerlein graduated from the DePaul University College of Law.

Session 3:

Maria Baldini-Potermin founded Maria Baldini-Potermin & Associates, P.C. in Chicago. She has more than 26 years of experience working in the immigration law field, beginning in 1990 with assisting detained asylum seekers on the Texas-Mexico border. Maria focuses on removal defense, federal litigation, waivers, family-based immigration, and criminal immigration. She is the author of Immigration Trial Handbook, the update editor for Immigration Law & Crimes, and an expert author-consultant for Interpreter Releases and Immigration Briefings. She has written four manuals on the interstate of state law and immigration law covering Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.  She has presented at continuing legal education seminars and trainings around the U.S.  Ms. Baldini-Potermin received the 2013 American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) Presidential Commendation and is the chair of AILA's Federal Court Litigation Section. Maria is a member of the board of directors for the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

Session 4:

Priscilla Orta is a staff attorney with Community Activism Law Alliance. She has been practicing immigration law almost exclusively for the past five years, beginning with her time as a law clerk with the EOIR in Harlingen, Texas. She has also worked as staff attorney for Sunflower Community Action in Wichita, Kansas. Priscilla is certified to appear before the VA and has a long history of organizing communities to seek alternative solutions to their problems. Ms. Orta graduated from Columbia Law School.

Nubia Willman (JD ’10) is a staff attorney in the Immigrants and Workers’ Rights Practice Group at LAF. She represents low-income clients who are victims of domestic violence and other serious violent crimes seeking immigration relief. Additionally, she trains private attorneys, social service providers, and law enforcement officers on immigration remedies for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. Ms. Williams is the editor of Latinas Uprising, an online community focused on empowering current and aspiring Latina lawyers. She earned her JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Darlene Gramigna is program director for the Immigrant Youth program of the American Friends Service Committee in Chicago. She has been active in organizing high school aged undocumented students and their allies to become the next generation of immigration activists. She has an MSW from the University of Denver. She has been active in Central America solidarity work and lived in Nicaragua.

Rebecca Shi is executive director of Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, and works directly with a steering committee of 68 Illinois-based CEOs, University presidents, chambers of commerce and immigrant advocates to develop and implement strategy that support the passage of federal immigration reform. IBIC has been extraordinarily effective in moving the politics of the state, winning public bipartisan support from the majority of Illinois's Congressional delegation for commonsense immigration reform. Rebecca was the campaign manager for Illinois's SB 957 driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants that resulted in licensing and insuring 450,000 undocumented immigrant drivers in Illinois. She graduated from the University of Chicago.

ABOUT THE SYMPOSIUM - The Loyola Public Interest Law Reporter proudly announces "(Un)Documented: Human Impact of Our Immigration Policies and Advocacy Strategies," to be held on November 11, 2016. 

This year’s symposium will address issues related to immigration, one of the most controversial issues in the 2016 Presidential Election. The symposium will feature Irakere Picon, who became the first undocumented immigrant licensed to practice law in Illinois by successfully lobbying the Illinois state government to enact a law allowing undocumented immigrants to take the bar exam. The featured speaker will highlight the personal opportunity provided by the Deferred Action for Children Arrivals (DACA) and the importance of activism. Next, the symposium will discuss the future of DACA in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s split decision in Texas v. United States and the impact of the Presidential Election taking place just days before the symposium. The symposium will also discuss the issue of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, not as a border security issue, but as a humanitarian crisis. The symposium will highlight the issue of “crimmigration,” the crossover between immigration and criminal law. Finally, the symposium will illuminate both the role and demands of activist lawyers who are fighting against the current political climate which criminalizes undocumented immigrants.

CONFERENCE LOCATION - The conference will be held in the Philip H. Corboy Law Center, Power Rogers & Smith Ceremonial Courtroom, on the 10th floor of 25 E. Pearson St. at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus.

REGISTARTION INFORMATION - Loyola University Chicago School of Law is pleased to present this Conference at no charge for Loyola students and faculty and individuals not seeking CLE credits. For those who wish to obtain credit, registration fees are $50, or $40 for alumni. There is no charge for CLR credit for current faculty, staff, or students, and an immediate 50% fee reduction is offered for attorneys working in the areas of government or public interest. Seating is limited and registration is appreciated. Open seating will be available on a first-come basis to those who do not register.

ABOUT THE PUBLIC INTEREST LAW REPORTER - The Loyola Public Interest Law Reporter (PILR) is an innovative bi-annual legal publication that focuses on reporting the most current legal topics in a news format directed to students, educators, and practitioners. PILR is edited and produced by Loyola students and is housed within the Center for Public Service Law. Founded in 1995, PILR offers feature articles and news of legal developments in the areas of human rights, economic justice, criminal justice, the environment, and governance. In addition to an editorial staff selected through a write on process, Loyola law students direct all aspects of PILR’s research, writing, graphics, production, and business management.

For more information, please contact Symposium Editor, Adrien Fernandez, at afernandez4@luc.edu.