IPI 2013 Fullerton: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

 



Question:
Who offers IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute?

Answer: IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute is a collaboration between Immigrant Hope and World Relief.  Immigrant Hope is an affiliate of the Evangelical Free Church of America with a mission to “Provide immigrants with the Hope of the Gospel, Help finding a pathway to legal residency, and a Home in a church that cares for their needs.”  World Relief is affiliated with the National Association of Evangelicals and has a mission to “Stand for the Vulnerable.”

 


 

Question: Who teaches class sessions at IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute?

Answer: Class sessions are taught by experienced immigration attorneys and practitioners in their area of expertise.

 


 

Question: What will be taught at IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute?

Answer: IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute is a comprehensive survey of immigration law and legal practice, offered at an introductory level.  Class sessions will touch on topics including family- and employment-based immigration, grounds of inadmissibility and deportability, citizenship and naturalization, legal ethics, and case management.  Students will also hear from pastors, organizational, and denominational leaders about how to engage and mobilize churches to serve immigrants.

 


 

Question: Who will attend IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute?

Answer: Our previous classes included students from about 20 states, several denominations or church networks, and a number of non-profit organizations.  Students range from attorneys who want to expand their practice to individuals simply looking for an introduction to the immigration system.  The majority of the students, however, are current or future staff at non-profit immigration legal service providers, preparing to apply for Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accreditation.  No experience or organizational affiliation is required to attend, but students are screened to exclude unauthorized practitioners.

 


 

Question: Is religious affiliation required to attend IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute?

Answer: No.   Immigrant Hope and World Relief and faith-based organizations and most of our students will belong to affiliated denominations.  Many of the student discussions and some of the presentations will come from a Christian perspective, but students of any or no religious belief or affiliation are welcome to attend and contribute.  There is no religious component to the final exam.

 


 

Question: What are expectations for students at IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute?

Answer: Students are expected to attend every class session in full, beginning at 8:00am on Monday, June 17, 2013 and ending at 5:30pm on Friday, June 21, 2013.  If you need to miss all or part of a class session for any reason, please contact Ben Johnson for advance permission.

Students willb be emailed reading material will be prior to the training to provide an overview of immigration law.  Evening homework will be assigned Monday through Thursday of the training week.  Students will be asked to complete an evaluation before leaving the training.  A take-home Final Exam will be distributed on the last day of the training and must be completed within 30 days.

The class will be taught at a college level.  Students should be proficient at speaking, reading, and writing English.

 


 

Question: Why attend IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute?

Answer: There are several reasons to attend IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute.

Dealing with the immigration system is a experience common to every immigrant in the United States, and many of their family members and friends.  Learning about immigration law can give you an insight into the lives of the immigrants around you and awareness of how best to support and help them.

Learning about the immigration system will give you a new perspective on important national policy issues.  Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the Dream Act, and other major immigration policy changes will be discussed and decided on in the next few years.  Learning what they law actually says and how it is applied can help make you an informed and constructive participant in these conversations.

The people you meet at IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute, both presenters and fellow students, can be a tremendous resource.  They will share your passion for serving immigrants and bring a wide range of perspectives, skills, ideas, and contacts to the table.  Students who met at past classes have gone on to collaborate on projects, work with each other’s organizations, and share information and ideas.  The presenters are all experienced legal workers and advocates who are willing to volunteer their time to help and equip others; they have served as ongoing resources, even mentors, for past students.

Learning about immigration law the first step toward earning Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accreditation to practice immigration law.  BIA Accreditation expand the scope of services offered by your non-profit organization or church, and is a powerful tool for serving and advocating for the immigrants in your community.

 


 

Question: What is Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accreditation?

Answer: Every immigrant hoping to live in the United States legally must pass through the complex, daunting immigration legal system.  Working with an informed and caring advocate who understands this system can be the difference between successfully obtaining a visa for themselves or family members and incarceration, deportation, separation from family, or thousands of dollars of unnecessary expense.

Not just anyone can offer immigration legal advice.  To prevent abuse and malpractice by unqualified advocates, the Justice Department allows only two groups of people to practice immigration law: attorneys and non-profit workers who earn Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accreditation.  Among other requirements, BIA Accreditation applicants must show that they are knowledgeable and experienced in immigration law.

Completing IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute fulfills the “knowledge” requirement for BIA Accreditation.  The students and presenters you meet at IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute may also prove to be valuable resources for gaining experience, building a referral network, and knowing who to call with legal questions.

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