Navigation of the Culture of the Immigrant Experience in the Family Courts

The clash of culture and court intervention

  • Product Number: 2200028P01
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    3 substantive credits, 0 ethics credits CLE Credit Note
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All of the faculty presentations from Navigation of the Culture of the Immigrant Experience in the Family Courts may be purchased individually. Expand the Agenda below to see all options.
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  • Agenda & Materials
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    Product Description

    This program educates attorneys practicing in Massachusetts Family Courts about immigrants, the culture they import, their unfamiliarity with Rule of Law, and the protections available and unknown to most. Issues of domestic violence, child custody, parenting plans and support are discussed in the context of immigrant cultures.

    In this course, participants hear from presenters working with families from different cultures, their commonality, and challenges. Each presenter shares how the clash of culture and court intervention shapes the work they do with families and issues confronted navigating through the family courts. The expert panelists include foreign-born practitioners who have personally navigated the immigration experience, as well as one of New England’s most respected immigration experts.

    Immigration has been a visceral issue, hotly debated by all sides of the political spectrum, not only by elected officials but by people of all walks, citizens and not. Immigrants bring with them various and profoundly different cultures and customs alien to Americans, including overt government oppression and institutionalized violence based on gender. These differences have spilled into our Family Courts. Domestic relations attorneys, judges, mental health professionals, probation officers and investigators, and court personnel must be prepared to acknowledge and confront these differences to achieve best results.

  • Agenda

    Agenda & Materials

    • 2:00 p.m. - 2:25 p.m.


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      Introduction of subject matter and panelists; culture v. Rule of Law v compassion
    • 2:25 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.

      Culture and Processing the Complaint for Abuse Prevention Orders; Disconnect between Statutory Requirements / Case Law v. Immigrant Notions of Fear of Physical Harm

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    • 3:10 p.m. - 3:25 p.m.

      Networking and Refreshment Break

    • 3:25 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

      An Overview of the New Americans and Family Law - Who are they and how does this cultural mix impact the court system? What are the new family court constituencies?

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      Immigration: Demographic Massachusetts /National data, legislation and policy; from undocumented to citizen; role of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and access to Massachusetts Courts
      Eva A. Millona, Esq., Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition , Boston
    • 4:00 p.m. - 4:35 p.m.

      Immigrant Numbers; Who are New Americans? How has government policy (DACA, etc.) impacted their lives? Cases handled and her personal experience as an immigrant.

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      The distinct experience of women and girl immigrants; imported cultural and gender roles; fear of home country Rule of Law institutions; federal and Massachusetts protections against domestic violence; Special Juvenile Immigrant Visa process and the Massachusetts legislative approach; local and national resources for immigrant victims
    • 4:35 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

      Panel Discussion

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      Culture v. Massachusetts Family Court System; Domestic violence as a subset of gender based violence; How the courts need to respond to the increasing diversity and to understand this new mix. Are the courts equipped? Is intolerance of abuse a cultural concept? Are judges equipped to deal with these new populations of Americans? Are police sensitive to these new issues and populations? How is divorce impacted by this implosion of domestic violence?
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