Providing Expert Testimony: Promises and Pitfalls of Engaging in Immigration Proceedings
Date: October 18, 2019
The Anthropologist Action Network for Immigrants and Refugees
seeks to harness the knowledge, skills, and political platforms of engaged anthropologists to support and advocate on behalf of immigrants and refugees on our campuses and in our communities. Building on the success of our two previous AAA-sponsored webinars
, and drawing on the increasing demand for and interest in providing expert witness declarations in the current political climate, this webinar focuses on the topic of “Providing Expert Testimony.” Invited speakers include anthropologists, and lawyers and will discuss:
- When is it appropriate or inappropriate to lend professional authority to asylum petitions or other immigration proceedings?
- When do we as anthropologists have sufficient expertise or empirical evidence to engage productively in these hearings?
- What are some of the professional and ethical challenges involved in supporting asylum petitions and other immigration cases while not over-generalizing suffering in countries of origin nor contributing to essentialized and negative portrayals of asylum seekers’ homelands?
- What are some best practices in this work (e.g. establishing relationships with particular pro bono attorneys or non-profit legal services providers)?
- What can we learn from the ways anthropologists and other social scientists in other global / transnational contexts have engaged productively in these legal proceedings?
- How can anthropologists discern whether or not to engage in this particular form of advocacy (e.g. over other forms of engagements/given limited time, professional precarities, etc.)?
Lisa Knox, Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, CA;
Beatriz Reyes Foster, University of Central Florida;
Lauren Heidbrink, California State University-Long Beach;
Leila Rodriguez, University of Cincinnati
Facilitator: Whitney Duncan, University of Northern Colorado