Immigrants & Refugees during COVID-19: State Responses and Responsibilities

"Immigrants & Refugees during COVID-19: State Responses and Responsibilities" a CLE seminar hosted on May 14, 2020, by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, and the International Law Association (American Branch).

Governments around the world have ordered citizens to stay at home to help fight the deadly pandemic. But what about people who have left their home in search of safety elsewhere? A record number of people are displaced by conflict and civil unrest today, and now face greater uncertainty and refoulment as countries close their borders and reduce aid. In the United States, for example, emergency public health measures have given U.S. Customs and Border Patrol broad authority to bypass immigration laws. As a result, nearly 10,000 summary deportations of migrants have occurred in a roughly two-week period. This webinar will look critically at the difficult position faced by refugees and asylum seekers around the world and discuss the legal obligations of States towards migrants during this pandemic.

Mr. Firas Kayal  — Senior Policy Advisor, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Professor Katie Herbert Meyer — Assistant Professor of Practice and Director of the Immigration Law Clinic, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law

Professor Kim Thuy Seelinger — Director, Center for Human Rights, Gender and Migration, Institute of Public Health, Washington University in St. Louis

Professor Leila Nadya Sadat — Director, Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute; James Carr Professor of International Law, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law


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