Children inside the McAllen, Texas, detention center of DHS | Photo via U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency

The Louisville Urban League and the human rights section of the Louisville Bar Association will host a free training session for legal professionals on Thursday to prepare them to help represent families that have recently been detained and incarcerated on the United States’ southern border.

The “immigration law boot camp” is available for attorneys, paralegals, law students and mental health professionals, who will specifically learn how to review bond eligibility and prepare for detention hearings on behalf of asylum-seekers, including children currently in the custody of the federal government.

Thousands of children — including babies and toddlers — have been separated from their parents at the Mexican border since April, when the Trump administration announced its “zero tolerance” policy to act as a deterrent to the increased number of asylum-seekers fleeing violence in Central America.

While the president issued an executive order last week appearing to shift from a family separation policy to one of indefinite joint family incarceration, on Tuesday a federal judge enjoined his administration from separating families and ordered it to reunite the children and parents in its custody.

In granting the injunction sought by the ACLU, Judge Dana M. Sabraw ruled that all children under 5 years old must be reunited with their families within 14 days, while older children must be reunited within 30 days.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, over 2,000 children remain separated from their parents who were detained at the border.

Attendees of the immigration law training will also learn about federal policies related to seeking asylum and the administration’s travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries, which was upheld by a 5-4 ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States on Tuesday.

Speakers at the training include immigration attorneys and representatives from the ACLU of Kentucky, Catholic Charities of Louisville and the La Casita Center, who will discuss how to help detained families remotely and in person, in both federal court and family state court.

The training will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Louisville Urban League office at 1535 W. Broadway, and attendees can RSVP at the Urban League’s website.

[dc_ad size="9"] [dc_ad size="10"]
Joe Sonka
Joe Sonka is a staff writer at Insider Louisville focusing on government, politics, education and public safety. He is a former news editor and staff writer at LEO Weekly and has also freelanced for The Nation and ThinkProgress. He has won first place awards from the Louisville Metro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists in the categories of Health Reporting, Enterprise Reporting, Government/Politics, Minority/Women’s Affairs Reporting, Continuing Coverage and Best Blog. Email him at [email protected]