The ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy (CILA) invites you to a webinar presentation on child capacities and mental competency in immigration cases. The webinar will help attorneys develop strategies for identifying capacity and mental competency issues when working with children, in addition to, raising these challenges in immigration court and during asylum interviews. It will also provide guiding principles and best practices for working with traumatized children and mental health experts as attorneys develop and prepare a child’s immigration case.
Victoria Mora, Senior Staff Attorney at the ABA Children’s Immigration Law Academy
- Introduction – Importance of raising capacity and mental competency issues when representing children in immigration proceedings.
- Overview of the immigration law and policies regarding capacity and mental competency as addressed by the U.S. Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Damir S. Utržan, Ph.D., LMFT
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Board-Approved Clinical Supervisor
- Defining trauma using the biomedical model (e.g., Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition [DSM-5]) and recognizing its symptoms.
- Understanding how trauma impacts children differently from adults with emphasis on multiple developmental domains (i.e., physical, emotional, language, adaptive).
- Effectively working with youth (i.e., children, adolescents) seeking asylum and/or other forms of relief to maximize information gathering while reducing re-traumatization.
- Recognizing differences between clinical (i.e., psychological) assessments and forensic evaluations, in addition to, successfully working with mental health experts.
Erica Schommer, Clinical Associate Professor of Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law
Meghan Casey, Supervising Attorney at Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
- Determining capacity and competency of a child client.
- Ethical obligations in representing children with capacity or mental competency issues in immigration proceedings.
- Litigating due process issues for children with capacity or mental competency challenges
The presentation aims to provide guidance to attorneys on how to identify and raise capacity and mental competency issues in immigration court and/or before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. To register…