Ahead of U.S. Refugee Summit, Experts Host Shadow Summit to Discuss U.S. Response to Central American Refugees

by KIND Press Release   on September 20, 2016

The United States is hosting a Leaders’ Summit on Refugees on September 20th to discuss the world refugee crisis and how nations can increase their commitments to refugee protection worldwide. Before the September 20th summit, experts, academics and civil society will host a shadow summit to discuss the U.S. response to Central American refugees.


The event will look at the U.S. record in its own backyard, specifically the policy response to unaccompanied children and families fleeing violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America. Speakers will evaluate U.S. policies from a humanitarian perspective, examining push factors, protection needs, and the impact of enforcement and deterrence strategies.


The full event will be open to media, with a press conference from 10:30-11:00am. Breakfast will be served before the 8:30am panel.


WHAT: Shadow Summit to Discuss U.S. Response to Central American Refugees Ahead of U.S. Refugee Leaders’ Summit


WHO: The Shadow Summit is co-Sponsored by Alianza Americas, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), the Latin America Working Group (LAWG), and the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC). Speakers will include:


8:30AM – Examination of Push Factors and Violence in Transit

  • Noah Bullock, Executive Director, Foundation Cristosal, El Salvador
  • Ramón Márquez, Director, La 72, Hogar-Refugio Para Personas Migrantes, Mexico
  • Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Senior Associate, Latin America Working Group
  • Fr. Flor Rigoni, Director, Casa Del Migrantes, Tapachula, Mexico

9:30AM – The U.S. Response to Central American Refugees        

  • Dr. Allen Keller, Director, Bellevue/New York University Program for Survivors of Torture
  • Katharina Obser, Senior Program Officer, Women’s Refugee Commission
  • Karen Lucas, Associate Director of Advocacy, American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • Elvis Garcia Callejas, Migration Counselor, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and former Unaccompanied Minor

10:30AM – Overview of Policy and Political Issues/ Press Conference

  • Donald Kerwin, Executive Director, Center for Migration Studies of New York
  • Wendy Young, President, Kids in Need of Defense
  • Guillermo Chacon, President, New York Immigration Coalition
  • Suny Rodriguez Alvarado, Formerly Detained Mother


WHERE: Center for Migration Studies: 307 East 60th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10022. Those not able to attend in person can view the livestream at: https://youtu.be/GGLqbj8B0R8.
WHEN: Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 8:30am-11:00am EST. Press conference begins sharply at 10:30am and will conclude at 11am.

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