Three Lessons Learned for Activism

February 10, 2018

Law at the Margins Associate Editor Shahana Hanif attended a four-session, 100-minute speed course led by NYU professors Daniel Altschuler, Reverend Noelle Damico, Jamila Brown, and Linda Lausell-Bryant on the how to of effective activism, including the skills needed in nonviolent organizing, advocacy, and direct actions. Here are three lessons learned that will support your participation in resistance movements as we fight to protect our neighbors and envision better futures….


A Year in Review: We Keep Resisting

February 2, 2018

It has been a year since the presidential election set the record straight, if there was any doubt, that anti-immigrant, anti-Black, and Islamophobic sentiments are being embraced in order to return to a “better America.” Moreover, we witnessed targeted, aggressive and cruel immigration policies by the Trump administration. Despite this hostile political climate, immigrant communities and allies across the United States continued to organize and mobilize through effective direct actions…


Reflections on Transformative Immigrant Defense

September 11, 2017

Below are brief remarks I gave at a conference hosted by CUNY Law Review on Transformative Immigrant Defense in March 2017.   I post here with some minor edits to offer some reflections on immigrant organizing and the need to support leadership from those most impacted.   I am thrilled to be here today with an  intention of gathering our wisdom around law and organizing with a particular emphasis on immigrant…


Laborers and Organizers: Remember James Connolly & the Struggle for an Irish Workers’ Republic

May 11, 2017

By Val Merlina, J.D. | University of Pittsburgh School of Law ’17 101 years ago, James Connolly was executed for taking part in the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, Ireland.  An armed rebellion seeking to decolonize Ireland, the Rising helped start the Irish struggle for the end of British social, political, and economic control on the island.  The rebellion brought together linguists, educators, socialists, women, the working poor, and concerned…


#FaithJustice: Embodied Solidarity In Proximity to the Five Ps

January 16, 2017

It is a New Year and for many of us 2016 was somewhat of an unpleasant year. Instead of seeing a decrease in police violence against communities of color we have seen a continuation. We have lived through a rancorous political process that not only took an emotional strain on us but netted us a president who political pundits fear has placed our nation in peril. Furthermore, our political process…


#Dilley Dispatches: Learning to Fly

December 28, 2016

Ernie Collette is a Government Benefits and Immigration Attorney at MFY Legal Services. Dilley is half-way between San Antonio and the border at Laredo, Texas.  Transportation for detainees only goes so far as transportation into and out of the center. Apparently inspired by the rugged individualism of the United States in the early 20th Century, the detention center does enough to ensure that families arrive to the San Antonio airport…


#DilleyDispatches: From Hope to Heartbreak in Forty-Eight Hours

December 22, 2016

Ernie Collette is a Government Benefits and Immigration Attorney at MFY Legal Services Feature Image Photo Credit: Claire R. Thomas Wednesday, December 14, 2016. I met with a woman and her young daughter who had a signed order in a request to extend their detention to avoid deportation from Dilley, Texas. Based on testimony that they offered, but was previously was unavailable, I was assigned the task to write a Request…


Dilley Dispatches: Holistic Legal Support to End Family Detention

November 25, 2016

By Carlos A. Valenzuela, an Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow with the Safe Passage Project; Claire R. Thomas is an attorney with the Safe Passage Project and teaches at New York Law School; Ernie Collette is a Government Benefits and Immigration Attorney at MFY Legal Services; Marilyn E. Alvarado is a first generation college graduate from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice and paralegal with Safe Passage Project; Michelle Castaneda is a Ph.D….


Calling All Movement Lawyers: We Need To Organize Our Legal Support

November 10, 2016

Chaumtoli Huq is the Editor of Law@theMargins. Additional thanks to Editorial Law Intern Val Merlina for her edits on this piece. Many of you I know who are committed to social justice are processing the United States presidential election results and the pending Trump presidency, and many of you are doing this in different ways: from gathering with friends, getting on social media, jumping into actions and protests, while others of you…


VIDEO: Tea Workers Protest Creation of Economic Zone Over Their Cultivated Land

November 5, 2016

Tea workers from Chandpore Tea Estate share about their protest to stop the creation of a special economic zone over land they have cultivated for years to supplement their meager salary from tea plucking.  Listen to them talk about their struggle that began in December 2015.  While the government has halted on the plan to have a economic zone, after months of protest, there is still not guarantee that they…