TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Legal immigration is at the forefront of a conference being held this week in Tucson. Hundreds of registered advocates and service providers are discussing everything from ICE detention, to Visas, and immigr ant education.
The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. is holding its Convening 2018 at the Westin La Paloma Resort near Sunrise Drive and Campbell Avenue.
"Our workshops are taught by industry leaders. They meet you at your level of understanding and provide practical ways to navigate the United States' complex immigration legal system. By deepening your knowledge, you will better assist the immigr ants in your community; thus, defending hope and the American Dream," the non-profit company's website explains.
The conference is going on amid a new "zero tolerance" policy, announced by the Trump Administration, for parents bringing their children across the border illegally.
"If you're smuggling a child, then we're going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said earlier this month. "If you don't want your child separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally. It's not our fault that somebody does that."
The New York Times reported last month, citing data it obtained from the refugee resettlement office, that "more than 700 children have been taken from adults claiming to be their parents since October, including more than 100 children under the age of 4."
The figures stand to go higher, under stiffer enforcement policies the Trump administration has promised against those crossing the border illegally.
Father Sean Carroll, Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative working in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, was the guest Plenary speaker for the event on Wednesday night, May 30.
He called the new order an offensive policy.
"To separate parents from children, precisely when they're seeking a more dignified way of life - to put children through that trauma and their parents, as well - I think is inhumane and unjust," said Carroll.
The mission of the Kino Border Initiative is, "to promote US/Mexico border and immigration policies that affirm the dignity of the human person and a spirit of bi-national solidarity through direct humanitarian assistance and accompaniment with migr ants, social and pastoral education with communities on both sides of the border, participation in collaborative networks that engage in research, and advocacy to transform local, regional, and national immigration policies," its website states.