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JSRI and Law Clinic combine efforts to assist Guatemalans

December 5, 2008

The Rev. Tom Greene, S.J., and Hiroko Kusuda

In July 2008, Loyola's Jesuit Social Research Institute partnered with the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice to provide a series of workshops on U.S. immigration law and policy for law students and faculty at Universidad Rafael Landivar and its extension campuses in Guatemala.

The Rev. Tom Greene, S.J., an attorney and research fellow at JSRI, Hiroko Kusuda, staff attorney and clinical instructor at Loyola’s College of Law, and Miriam Crespo, a 2007 Loyola law school graduate and Jesuit volunteer, made the presentations.

Universidad Landivar requested the workshops to help its law clinic respond to increasing demand by faculty and students for information on U.S. immigration law and the practical aspects of detention and removal.

“The program was mutually beneficial and created an opportunity for faculty, students and practitioners to interact on an issue that affects so many of their lives,” Greene said.

“There is a tremendous need for training, education and cross-cultural dialogue on U.S. immigration law and policy, and our Jesuit universities in Central America are ideal venues for such activities. I hope to continue strengthening the relationship between Loyola and our network of Jesuit universities and social centers in Latin America.”

While in Guatemala, the volunteers had a chance to meet and speak with government officials and United Nations representatives about immigration issues facing Central America, the U.S., and in particular, the current situation of detained immigrants in Louisiana.

The JSRI, a collaboration of the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus and Loyola University, was established in 2007 to promote research, social analysis, theological reflection and practical strategies for improving the social and economic conditions in the southern United States and in select parts of the Caribbean and Latin America with a particular focus on issues of race, poverty and migration.

For more information, contact Fr. Greene at (504) 864-7746 or tgreenesj@gmail.com.

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