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Rethinking Reentry: Prosecution, Defense and Human Rights Perspectives

Rethinking Reentry: Prosecution, Defense and Human Rights Perspectives

Join the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic for a discussion on prosecuting noncitizens for illegal entry and reentry under 8 U.S.C. §§ 1325-1326. 

Expert panelists will discuss the federal interests in prosecuting noncitizens for illegal entry and reentry, whether such federal interests are served when considering the significant humanitarian costs of the prosecutions, and the role of prosecutorial discretion.

Panelists:

  • Peter J. Smith, U.S. Attorney, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • Heidi Freese, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • Grace Meng, Senior Researcher for the U.S. Program of Human Rights Watch
  • Lori Ulrich, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Middle District of Pennsylvania

Questions? Email wbb127@psu.edu.

Registration

CLE pending. Light refreshments will be served following the discussion.

Date/Time: 
Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Location: 
Apfelbaum Courtroom, 110 Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA (simulcast to Dickinson Law, 014 Katz Hall, Carlisle)

Peter J. Smith

Peter J. Smith has served as the United States attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania since June 2010.

Smith was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., graduated from King's College, served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, and received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

He began his career as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia. He was an assistant United States attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from 1976 to 1987, was named senior litigation counsel in 1985, and served as chief of the Criminal Division in 1986 and first assistant United States attorney from 1986 to 1987. Smith was Pennsylvania's first inspector general from 1987 to 1991. He was the deputy chief of Environmental Crimes Section for the United States Department of Justice from 1994 to 1997. He also spent eight years as head of the Office of Special Investigations in the Pennsylvania Department of the Auditor General and for two of those years served as deputy auditor general for performance audits. From 2007 to 2009, Smith was a deputy state treasurer in the Pennsylvania Treasury Department. 

Heidi R. Freese

Heidi R. Freese is an assistant federal public defender in the Trial Division of the Federal Public Defender’s Office in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Before serving in that capacity, Freese was an associate attorney with the firm of Miller, Poole and Lord, LLP in York, where she practiced criminal defense in private and court-appointed matters ranging from traffic offenses to capital homicide. While in private practice, Freese was appointed to serve as a juvenile delinquency master in York County, and she also served as a Criminal Justice Act panel attorney in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Freese previously served as adviser to the trial team at The Penn State Dickinson School of Law, and she currently serves at Dickinson Law as a practitioner instructor and guest lectures on matters relating to federal criminal procedure. Freese received her J.D. from The Penn State Dickinson School of Law and her B.A. from Millersville University.

Grace Meng

Grace Meng, senior researcher in the U.S. Program at Human Rights Watch, investigates abuses in the U.S. immigration system with a particular focus on intersections with the criminal justice system. Her reports have covered such issues as sexual violence and harassment experienced by farmworker women and girls; abuses following enactment of Alabama’s anti-immigrant law; the steep rise in criminal prosecutions of migrants for illegally entering the United States, often in an attempt to reunite with their families or to flee persecution; and how deportations for drug offenses have torn apart U.S. families.

Before joining Human Rights Watch, Meng practiced immigration law and advocated for low-income immigrant workers with the Asian Law Caucus. Meng is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.

Lori Ulrich

Lori Ulrich has been an assistant federal public defender for over 20 years, and has spent her entire legal career representing those who cannot afford counsel.

Ulrich graduated from Penn State in 1984 with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Business Law and began working as a Dauphin County juvenile probation officer, where she remained from 1984 until 1986.

She left the Juvenile Probation Office to attend The Dickinson School of Law, graduating in 1989. She began her legal career as an assistant public defender with the Dauphin County Public Defender’s Office initially as a law clerk in 1987 and as an attorney in 1989. In 1991, she was named a chief deputy public defender.

She left the Dauphin County Public Defender’s Office in 1993 for her current position with the Federal Public Defender’s Office, where she has handled numerous jury trials, appeals before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and, most recently, CARE Court.

PowerPoint presentation from Rethinking Reentry: Prosecution, Defense and Human Rights Perspectives event, April 2016. 

U.S. Sentencing Commission, Illegal Reentry Offenses, April 2015. 

U.S. Sentencing Commission, Statistical Information Packet - Middle District of Pennsylvania, Fiscal Year 2015.

U.S. Sentencing Commission, Quick Facts on Illegal Reentry Offenses.

Pew Research Center, The Rise of Federal Immigration Crimes - Unlawful Reentry Drives Growth, March 2014.

Human Rights Watch, Turning Migrants into Criminals - the Harmful Impact of US Border Prosecutions, May 2013.

Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic, Entry and Reentry Screening Instrument, April 2016.

Rethinking Reentry: Prosecution, Defense and Human Rights Perspectives Infographic, April 2016.

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