Speaking on their work with unaccompanied minors entering the United States from Mexico and Central America, Luther College visiting assistant professor of social work Susan Schmidt and immigration lawyer Yer L. Vang will host a panel titled "Immigration and Unaccompanied Minors" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, in F.W. Olin Building Room 102 on the Luther campus.
The event, open to the public with no charge for admission, is part of the Center for Ethics and Public Engagement's Spring Series of panels titled "Tough Talk, Calm Voices."
Drawing on the professional perspectives of social work and law, the speakers in this panel will consider the United States' treatment of unaccompanied migrant children, the broader policy context, and the current implications for immigrant youth in the U.S. and locally. They will also provide practical ideas for those who have question or want to take action on these issues.
Schmidt is visiting assistant professor of social work and field director at Luther. She was a senior research consultant and co-author for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees report, "Children on the Run," and research coordinator and co-author for the U.S. Report of the "Seeking Asylum Alone" project. She has been a consultant with the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights at the University of Chicago, and with Lutheran Immigration Refugee Service, where she previously served as Director for Children's Services. In May 2017, she will complete a Doctor of Social Work degree from St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas. Schmidt has graduate degrees from Boston University School of Theology, and Columbia University School of Social Work.
Vang is an immigration attorney with over 15 years of immigration practice experience. She is currently the immigration attorney with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Her immigration practice focuses exclusively on family based immigration law and representing unaccompanied minors from Central America. Vang received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Upon graduating from law school, she joined the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence as the agency's lead immigration attorney for 5 years. Prior to working with Catholic Charities, Vang was a partner in private practice specializing in representing immigrants in various immigration proceedings, including deportation defense.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.