Conversation: "Yearning to Breathe Free": Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Immigrants Today
In this new occasional series, experts on a current-events topic bring their knowledge to an informal presentation and discussion with readers who want to get beyond the headlines. This inaugural event features Lauris Wren, founder and director of Hofstra University's Asylum Clinic, in conversation with Jenny Chevez Urbina, a former asylum-seeker.
A Clinical Professor of Law at Hofstra University, Lauris Wren started its noted Political Asylum Clinic. Through the Clinic, students represent applicants for asylum - people who have fled their countries because of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. The Clinic's clients have come from countries across Africa, Central and South America, Asia, and Eastern Europe. It has been featured by Newsday, and Ms. Wren's work has been honored by the Central American Refugee Center. A graduate of Columbia University Law School, Ms. Wren previously served as director of the Refugee Assistance Program at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, has worked with many human rights organizations in Mexico and Central America, and has assisted immigrants affected by terrorism and government policy in New York.
Jenny Chevez Urbina is a program assistant, helping immigrants naturalize, at the Central American Refugee Center. She serves as co-president of LGBT Immigrants of Long Island.
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