First Undocumented Immigrant Attorney to Speak at Immigration Reform Symposium at William & Mary Law School Nov. 1

On Friday, Nov. 1, the William & Mary Law School will host its first immigration reform conference, entitled “The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown: Effects of Immigration Reform.” Sponsored by De Vecino a Vecino, the Law School’s immigration law and service organization, the symposium will feature Sergio Garcia, the first undocumented immigrant in the nation to become an attorney. Garcia will deliver the 11:00 a.m. keynote address and will be willing to field questions from the press.

Garcia came to the United States from Mexico as a baby and attended college despite his undocumented status. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Cal Northern School of Law and passed the California bar exam, earning the support of the California Bar and California Attorney General Kamala Harris in his campaign for a license to practice law. In a landmark decision, the California Supreme Court recently ruled to allow Garcia and other qualified undocumented immigrants to become licensed attorneys.

Other speakers at the symposium will include retired immigration judge Joan Churchill; Patrick Shen, Managing Partner at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, former Policy and Planning Director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and former Legal Advisor and former Chief Immigration Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Jim Haynes, attorney at Haynes Novick Immigration; Professor Doug Ford of UVA Law School; Professor Angela Banks of William & Mary Law School; Virginia Senator Frank Ruff; and Lauren Vogt of L&L Immigration, a 2011 graduate of the Law School, and founder of De Vecino a Vecino. 

“De Vecino a Vecino is really excited to sponsor this Immigration Reform Symposium,” said Parisa Tabassian’16. “As a relatively new group of the William & Mary Law School, we would like to have a heightened presence and believe strongly that the issues surrounding comprehensive immigration reform are relevant to all and worth exploring.”

The symposium will begin at William & Mary Law School with breakfast at 10:00 a.m., and include the keynote, two panel discussions, lunch and a closing speech at 3:30 p.m. Topics to be discussed include border security and enforcement, immigration and the economy, the pathway to legalization, changes in American values in the family-based system, and workplace demands in the employment-based system.

There is no cost to attendees. The symposium is sponsored by The Dyer Immigration Law Group and the Law Office of Regina Y. Kane, and co-hosted by William & Mary Law School’s America Constitution Society, Institute of Bill of Rights Law, Student Division, International Law Society, and Black Law Students Association.

For more information, please visit the De Vecino a Vecino page or e-mail