HRLS Panel Discussion: Immigration Policy and the Criminal Justice System

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Jeffers Courtroom at the University of Texas School of Law

Are undocumented immigrants in the U.S. subjected to a lower standard of justice? As federal immigration offenses multiply to unprecedented levels, courts are forced to cope with bloated dockets by shuffling in as many as fifty defendants at a time to offer pleas. Due process concerns abound, and while the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cracked down on en masse pleadings in 2009, significant obstacles remain in the realm of right to counsel. Moreover, border enforcement policies like Operation Streamline eliminate prosecutorial discretion for immigration crimes, sending thousands of non-violent offenders to federal prisons. A panel discussion sponsored by the Human Rights Law Society will discuss the rising immigrant incarceration trend from a human rights perspective.

The panel will include:

• David Peterson, Assistant Federal Public Defender in Austin
• Krystal Gómez, Advocacy and Policy Counsel at ACLU of Texas
• Graham Robertson, co-author of a recent Grassroots Leadership report on immigrant incarceration issues.