Standing Up for Immigrants

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Stein Scholars, faculty, and graduates have been supporting immigrants during these particularly challenging times.

On February 15, the Stein Scholars Program hosted a bystander training aimed at teaching law students how to de-escalate anti-Muslim bias-based incidents. Titled “Silence is Complicity,” two members of the organization SAKHI: For South Asian Women reminded participants why it sometimes feels hard to go from being a passive witness to an active bystander. They then offered these tips for how to intervene:

  • Engage the person being targeted with hate, while ignoring the attacker.
  • Pick a random subject and start discussing it with the person you are trying to protect.
  • While keeping eye contact, continue to build safe space around the victim.
  • Maintain the conversation until the attacker leaves the space and then offer to escort the person you are helping to a safe place.

On February 6, three Stein immigration law practitioners took time out of their busy days to offer their experiences and advice to current students interested in the field, as part of the Law School’s Pathways-to-Practice series. Annie Chen ’09, associate program director of the Unaccompanied Children Program at the Vera Institute of Justice; Janice Chua ’14, immigrant justice corps justice fellow at Queens Legal Services; and Michelle Gonzalez ’14, immigration defense attorney, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, returned to the Law School to inspire and encourage the next generation of Fordham lawyers to follow in their footsteps, in order to protect and serve some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.


Stein faculty member Jennifer Gordon and Fordham Law Professor Gemma Solimene lent their passion and expertise to help launch a new student group, Fordham Law Immigrant Preparedness Project (FLIPP), in order to train Fordham Law students to offer know-your-rights workshops to immigrant teenagers and their families in NYC schools. Over thirty-six Fordham Law students, including at least ten Stein Scholars, are actively participating in this program, thereby doing their part to provide information, dispel myths, and contribute to a citywide effort to protect and keep immigrant New Yorkers safe. Since the program began in December, over 1,000 high school students and parents have attended FLIPP wokshops and Fordham Law students will have conducted over 40 workshops in March alone.

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