Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2014-02-14

"Immigration Reform:  Civil Rights in Modern Day America" will be the focus of the Thurgood Marshall Symposium sponsored by Samford University's Cumberland School of Law Friday, Feb. 21. The event is free to the public.

The program will examine how the immigration debate shapes political discourse and legal trends related to changing voter demographics, the U.S. economy, civil rights and human trafficking, according to symposium chair and third-year law student April Jackson MacLennan.

Speakers include Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network attorney Alpa Amin, National Day Laborer Organizing Network attorney Jessica Vosburgh, Greater Birmingham Ministries community organizer Miguel Carpizo, Atlanta, Ga., attorney and former general counsel for U.S. senator Joe Lieberman Todd Stein and Birmingham immigration attorneys Klari Tedrow and Amy Myers.

Topic areas include immigration compliance for employers and strategies for retaining foreign national workers, prospects for comprehensive immigration reform during this Congress and beyond, legal hurdles refugees and human trafficking victims face in the U.S. criminal justice system, and local efforts between police and immigration enforcement to combat the criminalization of immigrant workers.

The symposium, to be held in the moot courtroom of Cumberland's Robinson law building, will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 12 noon with a reception to follow. It will carry four continuing legal education credits. Reservations are requested.  To register, contact MacLennan at (205) 253-6660, email or go to this link:

The Thurgood Marshall symposium is named to honor the first African-American to serve as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Cumberland's Black Law Students Association hosts the symposium annually during Black History Month to promote awareness of legal issues involving minorities.