Immigration reform discussed during LBJ Civil Rights Summit

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson approved a law that changed the quota system for immigration, signing the Immigration and Nationality Act on New York’s Liberty Island. During the first day of the LBJ Presidential Library Civil Rights Summit in Austin, Julián Castro, mayor of San Antonio, and Haley Barbour, former Mississippi governor, discussed immigration reform in the 21st century, touching on the history and current state of immigration in the U.S. and examining opportunities for future updates.

Overall, the two leaders shared the belief that there is a need for realistic modifications in immigration policy, calling on government leaders to set aside politics for change.

“Pure and simple, it is in the best interest of America, economically and for other reasons, that we have immigration reform and that we take the 11 million people that are here and give them the opportunity to be here legally so that they, as the term is, ‘get out of the shadows,’” Barbour said.

The two discussed financial issues of immigration reform, acknowledged border issues and a current challenge of defining “border security,” and tackled the topic of people who overstay their visas.

“I can usually tell the people that are serious about the policy and the folks who are just using it as a political wedge issue because the people who are serious about the policy and actually care about the issue always speak to the issue of overstay or give a full picture of the problem,” Castro said.

Prompted by moderator Brian Sweany, senior executive editor at Texas Monthly, Barbour and Castro also touched on the GOP’s tone surrounding immigration laws, namely Jeb Bush’s recent comments that some illegal immigration is the result of an “act of love.” Barbour said that more candidates should express how they actually feel about the subject of immigration—not just how they think voters want them to respond. Castro noted that candidates will likely feel more comfortable expressing honest opinions following the primaries and predicted that more 2016 Republican candidates than not will hold views closer to Bush’s position. Additionally, the DREAM Act came into the conversation when a woman in the audience, identified by the AP as a “DREAMer,” shouted to Castro to urge Obama to stop deportations of families.

As the panel came to a close, Castro used the opportunity to remind the audience that throughout history, groups of immigrants that were once seen as bothersome were finally welcomed, and America was strengthened for it. “We need them as much as they need us,” he said.

The three-day summit, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, continues today. Visit for more information.



State Bar to honor Dallas nonprofit for legal work assisting immigrant women

The State Bar of Texas Women and the Law Section has chosen the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas as the 2013 winner of the newly named Louise B. Raggio Award.

The Dallas-based nonprofit organization is receiving the award after its all-female team of attorneys helped nearly 200 immigrant women in the Dallas-Fort Worth area last year through its William O. Holston Volunteer Attorney Program. The bar will present the award June 20 during its annual meeting in Dallas.

“We are privileged here at HRI to have three women attorneys who are fierce advocates for women,” Bill Holston, the organization’s executive director, said in a statement. “Chris Mansour, Melissa Weaver and Martha Gonzalez are the consummate professionals. They are compassionate and fearless advocates for our clients. Whether it is a young woman escaping the bonds of domestic violence or a woman from Africa seeking refuge from female genital mutilation, our lawyers are passionate advocates for our clients’ fight to begin a new life in America.”

The bar’s Women and the Law Section established the Raggio award, formerly called the Ma’at Justice Award, in 1995 to recognize attorneys or groups of attorneys who advance justice and address the needs and issues affecting women in the legal profession and in society.

This month in the Texas Bar Journal

From the economy to technology to cultural practices, international integration is quickly becoming the norm, even in Texas. This issue of the Texas Bar Journal provides several tools to help Texas attorneys practice in an increasingly global atmosphere.


 Globalization and International Law:
• Transnational Disputes in a Global Economy. Page 512.
• How to Avoid the Broad Nature of Export Control Violations. Page 520.
• Joint Ventures in Texas: A Primer for International Partners. Page 524.
• Managing U.S. Immigration Risks: Key Concepts for a Global Workforce. Page 530.
• Hiring Foreign Nationals on an H-1B Visa. Page 535.
• Business Entertainment "Texas Style" Here and Abroad: What You Need to Know. Page 536.

Profiles of 2012 Pro Bono and Legal Services Award Winners. Page 540.

February 2012 Bar Exam High Scorer Remarks. Page 544.

State Bar Section Reports (2011-2012). Page 546.

State Bar Committee Reports (2011-2012). Page 556.

Solo/Small Firm: Going Global — Delving into the International Legal Arena. Page 566.

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