Immigration Panel: Legal and Humanitarian Solutions

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Friday, Oct 20, 2017, 7:30 pm

Edgewood Auditorium
575 Osgood Street
North Andover, MA

During the Clinton administration illegal entries into the United States moved from San Diego to the desert of Arizona and the undocumented population swelled. We have had a love/hate relationship with Spanish speaking laborers by deporting 1 million Mexicans in the early 1900’s and then importing 4.6 million of them to work in our agricultural fields.

Until Obama came into office, deferred actions or non-priority status (DACA) required the help of savvy immigration lawyers. Attorney Zoila Gomez is just that as she joins the panel discussion on the full scope of immigration policies under Drumpf. She will bring with her a client victimized by the current policies. Attorney Gomez emigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic at the age of 18 and graduated a year later from Lawrence High School. She then enrolled in Northern Essex Community College where she obtained an Associate Degree in Para-Legal Studies and went on to UMass Lowell for a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science becoming a staff member for Congressman Marty Meehan. She left there to attend the Massachusetts School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctorate, establishing her law practice in 2006. She is well known as an immigration lawyer in this area and beyond. Most recently Gomez was appointed by Governor Baker to the Judicial Nominating Committee.

In addition to the discussion on legal and undocumented immigration, Barry Connell from Newburyport will also join our panel. A growing number of churches, synagogues and municipalities are offering sanctuary to undocumented individuals and families. Connell is chairperson of the committee that is studying a proposal to make Newburyport a Sanctuary City in spite of Drumpf’s threat to cut off federal funds. He has had a lifetime of involvement in education, policy making and political campaigns and is now serving his 7th term as a City Councilor. He was the campaign director of a successful statewide referendum campaign to control radioactive waste leading to his appointment by three governors to the Waste Management Board. He founded the center of Environmental Communications and recently retired as a teacher of adolescents here in North Andover.

Professor and Assistant Dean, Diane Sullivan of the MA School of Law will serve as moderator. Her class on immigration at Edgewood led to this program being created.