Penn Arts and Sciences

American Refugee Law: Historical, Global and Local Perspectives (Maria Cristina Garcia, Fernando Chang-Muy, Judith Bernstein-Baker)

Friday, January 31, 2014 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm

View now on YouTube.

Co-sponsored by the Trustees' Council of Penn Women, the Department of History, the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, and the Penn Program on Democracy, Constitutionalism, and Citizenship

FOR THIS FAR-RANGING EXAMINATION of American refugee law, with ample opportunity for the audience to ask questions and participate, we have brought together historian Maria Cristina Garcia (Cornell), legal scholar Fernando Chang-Muy (Penn Law), and advocate Judith Bernstein-Baker (HIAS-PA). They will discuss the transformations of refugee law in recent decades, possibilities for reform, and the current situation in the Philadelphia area.

Judith Bernstein-Baker joined  the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) of Pennsylvania as the Executive Director in 1998. Prior to that she ran the Public Service Program at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and was named Honorary Fellow of Penn Law School in 1998. She received her B.A. from Binghamton University, her M.S.W. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work and her J.D., cum laude, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

Fernando Chang-Muy is the Thomas O’Boyle Lecturer in Law at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, where he teaches Refugee Law and Policy. In addition, at the Graduate School of Social Policy and Practice, he lectures on Immigration and Social Work, and on Organizational Effectiveness, in the Executive Education Program, with a focus on strategic planning, board governance, staff communications, and resource development. He is former Assistant Dean and Equal Opportunity Officer at Swarthmore College, where he also taught International Human Rights.

Maria Cristina Garcia is the Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies at Cornell University.  She studies refugees, immigrants, exiles, and transnationals in the Americas. Her first book, Havana USA (1996), examined the migration of Cubans to the United States after Fidel Castro took power in 1959. Her second book, Seeking Refuge (2006), is a study of the individuals, groups, and organizations that responded to the Central American refugee crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, and helped shape refugee policies throughout North America. Garcia has been chosen as a fellow for 2013-14 by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Her project as a Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow in residence will be “Refuge in Post-Cold War America.”

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