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September 13 / CLE Luncheon with Professor Binford on the Border Crisis

SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

5100 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77056

Join us for this firsthand account of what Willamette Law professor and international children’s rights expert Warren Binford discovered when she and her colleagues walked into the Clint Border Patrol Facility on a routine monitoring visit outside of El Paso, Texas, in June 2019. Over the course of four days and through interviews involving approximately 70 children, the team came to realize that hundreds of children were being unlawfully warehoused by the U.S. government in a state of filth, hunger, sickness, and sadness, without any meaningful adult care. Some children reported being assaulted by the Border Patrol while many reported being forced to sleep on concrete floors, including infants and toddlers, in overcrowded jail cells, a loading dock, and a windowless warehouse. Binford explains what had changed in their observations about the government’s treatment of the children in its care that compelled them to go to the media for the first time in 22 years of Flores monitoring visits. Binford lays out the legal framework that applies to migrant children in custody, highlighting both the legal violations, as well as the loopholes that need to be closed to ensure the humane treatment of children, and — importantly — how the average U.S. citizen can take action. Binford’s discussion includes powerful direct quotations from the children’s sworn declarations to ensure that their voices and stories are heard and amplified by the American public.

Binford is scheduled to participate in US House and Senate briefings in D.C. on September 11 & 12. She arrives in Houston Thursday evening September 12 for the Democratic Presidential Debates and will participate in forums with experts, elected officials, and activists on September 13 to amplify the voices of the children who are being abused and traumatized by the U.S government and private contractors working under their authority. HCDLA is working with Children at Risk and many other organizations to demand an immediate end to the horrifying, intentional, and flagrant human rights violations.

WARREN BINFORD is Professor of Law and Director of the Clinical Law Program at Willamette University. An internationally recognized children’s rights expert, Professor Binford was invited by legal counsel in Flores v. Barr to help conduct a series of site inspections of especially concerning government facilities where migrant children have been detained since 2017, including the former Walmart, the Tornillo tent city, and most recently, the Clint Border Patrol Facility, among others. Professor Binford was selected as both a Fulbright Scholar in 2012 and the inaugural Fulbright Canada-Palix Foundation Distinguished Visiting Chair in Brain Science, and Child and Family Health and Wellness in 2015. She researched the effects of child sex abuse trauma on survivors at th University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. She has provided expertise and support to Save the Children, the International Red Cross, the International Criminal Court, the Japan Red Cross, the Croatia Red Cross, and the Dutch National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence against Children, among many others. Professor Binford has served as a licensed foster parent, Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused and neglected children, and inner city teacher in South Central Los Angeles, Boston, and London.

In addition to her child advocacy and scholarship, Professor Binford is an experienced corporate attorney and negotiator who spent eight years at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP where she specialized in corporate transactions and litigation. She has continued her corporate practice by founding and teaching the Business Law Clinic at Willamette, which provides pro bono legal services to nonprofit organizations and emerging businesses in Oregon. Professor Binford is admitted to practice law in California, Oregon, the United States District Court, Eastern and Northern Districts of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. She served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oregon from 2006-2011.

She has published nearly 60 law review articles, book chapters, essays, NGO publications, and editorials and has given approximately 150 presentations, primarily on topics related to children's issues, throughout the country and around the world. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A., summa cum laude with distinction, and an Ed.M. from Boston University. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


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