ILW.COM - the immigration portal Seminars

Asylum for Experts

Speakers: David L. Cleveland, Elizabeth Barna, Anna Benvenue, Jason Dzubow, Hilary Han, Ashley Huebner, and Jeffrey Martins

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Each call features an hour of analysis, strategy and practice tips, followed by questions and answers from participants. MCLE Credits in CA, TX and other states (click here for more details).


FIRST Phone Session on June 28:

  • Economic harm
  • Abortions, IUDs, and "added" children
  • Emotional harm: how to demonstrate it without an expert
  • "social" and "environmental" harm; ostracism
  • "at least one central reason" means what? Parussimova v. Mukasey
  • Proving motive and "nexus"
  • Political opinion
  • Whistle-blowing and resisting corruption
  • Imputed opinion
  • Protesting in USA

SECOND Phone Session on July 12: Asylum For Specific Social Groups and Bars to Asylum

    Particular Social Groups
    • Gangs Matter of S-E-G- 24 I and N Dec. 579
    • Domestic violence
    • Forced marriage
    • Genital mutilation

    Bars to Asylum
    • The one-year deadline
    • Persecutor of others
    • Crimes
    • Terrorist activity
    • Firm resettlement
    • Internal relocation
    • Material support

THIRD Phone Session on August 2: Nuts and Bolts of Asylum Practice

  • Discretionary denials
  • Past persecution, but now a change in circumstances
  • "other serious harm"
  • Withholding of removal
  • Convention against Torture
  • Corroboration
  • Country conditions: from what sources?
  • How to draw the story out of client
  • How to motivate the client
  • How to persuade the Asylum Officer
    • What exhibits should be given? How many?
  • How to persuade the Immigration Judge
  • FOIA the assessment?
  • What kind of exhibits?
  • What is a leading question?
  • Forensic reports
  • Letter from an Embassy
  • How accurate is the translator?
  • Why do clients lose?
  • What mistakes do other lawyers make?

Citations For Session 1

Citations For Session 2


David L. Cleveland (Co-Discussion Leader) David L. Cleveland, a staff attorney at Catholic Charities of Washington, DC, has won asylum or withholding for people from 39 countries. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester and of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and was the AILA Representative to USCIS Asylum Office, 2003-2006. He was the Chair of the AILA Asylum Committee, 2004-2005. He has been a member of the Board of Editors of Bender's Immigration Bulletin, 2008-present.Articles and chapters by David have been published by AILA, Bender's Immigration Bulletin,, and by Lexis-Nexis.

Danielle Beach-Oswald (Co-Discussion Leader) utilizes her 19 years of experience in immigration law to help individuals immigrate to the United States for humanitarian reasons. She has worked with numerous expert witnesses who have testified on her cases for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), forced marriage, illegal organ transplants, female genital mutilation, and political country experts for various countries all over the world. Ms. Beach is President and Managing Partner at Beach-Oswald Immigration Law Associates. She represents clients who suffer persecution and abuse in their native countries and focuses on helping them obtain a better quality of life in the United States. Ms. Beach actively advocates for her clients and assists them as they integrate into United States culture. She has also represented her clients at U.S. Consulates in Romania, China, Canada, Mexico, and several African countries. With her extensive experience in family-based and employment-based immigration law, Ms. Beach not only assists her clients in obtaining a better standard of living in the United States, she also helps employers obtain professional visas and petition for family members. She also handles many complex naturalization issues.

Elizabeth Barna,graduate of the George Washington University, and New York Law School (NYLS) has been practicing in New York City for over 21 years, the past sixteen as a solo practitioner. She practices all aspects of immigration law with a concentration in asylum and removal. She is a member of and has served on several NY AILA committees. She chaired its Asylum/Executive Office for Immigration Review/Office of the Chief Counsel Committee twice, once with a co-chair. She is active in the Juvenile Docket program of NY AILA's Pro Bono Committee. Elizabeth currently serves as Chair of NY AILA. She also serves as an AILA National Asylum Mentor. Elizabeth has served on AILA's National Asylum Committee. She has spoken on Asylum and Convention Against Torture at conferences. She guest lectures regarding the practice of Asylum law at NYLS and is a volunteer for its Justice Action Center's Safe Passage Project. Elizabeth is also a member of the NYC Bar Association Immigration and Nationality Law Committee, having actively served from 2006-2009.

Anna Benvenue is an associate at the Law Office of Robert B. Jobe, a San Francisco, California firm that offers a wide range of immigration services. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in American History, where she was a Presidential Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After college, Anna spent two years with Teach for America in San Jose, California. She graduated with highest honors from Golden Gate School of Law in 2008, where she was the Managing Editor of the Law Review, a Peer Mentor, a Moot Court Board Member, and wrote a law review article on the rehabilitation failures of the California Youth Authority. She won awards for legal writing, constitutional law, business associations, evidence, and appellate advocacy. After graduation, Anna was hired through the Attorney General Honor's Program and worked for the Department of Justice as an Attorney Advisor at the San Francisco Immigration Court.

Jason Dzubow's practice focuses on immigration law, asylum, and appellate litigation. Mr. Dzubow is admitted to practice law in the federal and state courts of Washington, DC and Maryland, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Eleventh, and DC Circuits, all Immigration Courts in the United States, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Capital Area Immigrant Rights (CAIR) Coalition. In June 2009, CAIR Coalition honored Mr. Dzubow for his Outstanding Commitment to Defending the Rights and Dignity of Detained Immigrants. In December 2011, Washingtonian magazine recognized Dr. Dzubow as one of the best immigration lawyers in the Washington, DC area; in March 2011, he was listed as one of the top 25 legal minds in the country in the area of immigration law. Mr. Dzubow is also an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University in Virginia.

Hilary Han received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley with high distinction in 1993, and he graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law in 1997. After graduating from law school, he was hired by a private immigration firm in San Francisco, where he worked as an associate until March 2001. In August 2001, Hilary and his partner Vicky Dobrin established Dobrin & Han in Seattle, Washington. Hilary is a member of the State Bars of Washington and California, and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, as well as the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He has been invited to speak at immigration conferences in California and Washington. Hilary is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Hate Free Zone Washington.

Ashley Huebner is the supervising attorney for the National Immigrant Justice Center's (NIJC) Asylum Project, where she represents asylum seekers and other low-income immigrants and provides technical support for the network of approximately 1000 pro bono attorneys currently representing over 200 asylum seekers through NIJC. Before joining NIJC, Ashley served as the judicial law clerk for the Orlando Immigration Court. During law school, Ashley interned with the Boston Immigration Court, Catholic Charities' immigration department in Boston, and was a law clerk for a private immigration firm. Ashley graduated from Boston University School of Law and is licensed in the State of Illinois.

Jeffrey Martins is a private attorney in San Francisco specializing in asylum and refugee issues. After graduating from law school, Jeffrey spent 5 years as an Asylum Officer with the San Francisco Asylum Office and adjudicated over 3000 applications for asylum and refugee status. He also worked as an Acting Supervisor at the San Francisco office. While working for the Immigration Service, he traveled overseas to Russia, Croatia and Serbia to interview refugees for resettlement to the US. During the Kosovo war, he interviewed ethnic Albanian Muslims at refugee camps in Macedonia. He has worked closely with the UNHCR, IOM and other refugee relief agencies. Since entering private practice, Jeffrey has represented asylum-seekers at every level of the process from the Asylum Office to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has published an article on the oneyear filing deadline for asylum in Immigration Law Today and spoken on many asylum law and practice panels in Northern California. He also volunteers at legal clinics and non-profit organizations including the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. He also has been invited to speak on occasion at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law.

CLE Credits:

ILW.COM is accredited CLE Provider in State of California and Texas. Attorneys admitted in AK, CO, FL, MT, ND, NJ, NY (some exclusions apply) and WV are able to obtain MCLE credits through reciprocity with State of California. For remaining states, which require MCLE but do not accept reciprocity with any other jurisdiction, Certificate of Attendance for obtaining a self-study credits is available. Please note, CT, DC, MA, MD, MI and SD do not require MCLE.


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Cancellation/Return/Shipping Policy
$199 Seminar Package 
Includes all three dates:
Audio Streaming for June 28 (60 min)
Audio Streaming for July 12 (60 min)
Audio Streaming for August 8 (60 min)

Within one business day, you will receive a PIN # to listen to the seminar

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Disclaimer: participation in this seminar does not create an attorney-client relationship with the speakers