Lawful Assembly Podcast Episode 22: Suffer the Little Children

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University’s College of Law, Refugee and Forced Migrations Studies Program and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. The podcast requests that you send comments to the federal government before midnight eastern standard time on Tuesday, January 25 providing ideas to end the policies that have led to family separation and lengthy detention of asylum seekers.  The Biden administration has recognized the human tragedy caused by these policies and has requested your ideas to ensure the United States never engages in such policies and practices again.


You can use either of these links to send your ideas to the Task Force.

The National Immigrant Justice Center has provided the direct link to the request for comments:

A coalition of groups has put together this link for Immigrant Justice at:

You can use any resources or background material you find persuasive, but please make sure your comments uniquely represent your views.  Do not simply copy and paste someone else’s comments unless you add why you find them persuasive.  You can add your personal experience or why you believe the United States should end family separation and detention of asylum seekers.

The quotes from the Biden administration regarding the human tragedy of family separation and the goals of the Task Force can be found in the Background information produced by the Department of Homeland Security at:

Paragraphs 181 and 182 of the U.N Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva, January 1992) can be found at:

The Supreme Court found that the Handbook provides “significant guidance” in INS v. Cardozo-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 420, 439, fn. 22 (1987).

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights can be found at:  (Adopted December 10, 1948)

The Convention on the Rights of the Child can be found at: (Adopted November 20, 1989).

For a discussion of how United States asylum policies have fallen short of the protections of the CRC, see Craig B. Mousin, “Rights Disappear When US Policy Engages Children as Weapons of Deterrence,” (January 1, 2019), AMA Journal of Ethics, Vol. 21, Number 1: E58-66, Available on SSRN at:

The National Immigrant Justice Center has several resources providing ideas that would end or minimize family separation.  You can find the letter it submitted to DHS at:

This NIJC blog provides short summaries of issues of concern:

NIJC also prepared this short video on family separation:

The Detention Watch Network provides several resources to more fully understand the extent of immigration detention as the United States has established over 200 locations throughout the nation.  See, for example, “Immigration Detention 101,” at:

or “Communities Not Cages,  A Just Transition from Immigration Detention Economies, (2021) at:

Need more information?  Church World Service’s Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Program invites you to a Families Belong Together program on Monday, January 24 at 7 p.m. (EST).  You may register for more information at:  RSVP here.  Speakers will share their expertise about the latest updates in immigration policy and the ongoing horrors of family separation.

Thank you for joining this effort to meet the Task Force’s goal “to ensure that the Federal Government will not repeat the policies and practices leading to the separation of families at the border.”   Please share this podcast’s request with others to lend their voice to ending these tragic policies and practices.

Lawful Assembly Podcast: As Maine Goes, So Goes the Nation

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University’s College of Law, Refugee and Forced Migrations Studies Program and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  The podcast celebrates the cooperative work of Somali refugee farmers in Maine and elsewhere demonstrating the talents and gifts they bring to our nation.  The podcast also urges listeners to email their congressional Representative to vote for the Afghan Adjustment Act.

ACTION STEP:  We provide two links to offer background information and to email your congressional Representative to vote for the Afghan Adjustment Act.

  1. Refugee One recommends this link to email your Representative in support of the Afghan Adjustment Act:

If you would like additional information about the proposed Act or the work of Refugee One, visit Refugee One’s website at:

  1. The Pennsylvania Council of Churches also provides background information and a link to send an email to your Representative at:

The information on Little Juba and the Agrarian Trust came from two articles.  Initially, this podcast was inspired by Katy Kelleher’s article, “Maine’s Somali Bantus Are Reenvisioning American Farming,” Down East:  The article contains the specific information on percentage of farmland owned by white famers and non-white farmers, information on the Somali produce grown at Little Juba, and the Agrarian Trust.
The quote from the Somali farmer and the quote on percentage of farm ownership by white persons can be found in the story on the Somali refugees at Little Juba by Audrea Lim, “‘We’re trying to re-create the lives we had’: the Somali migrants who became Maine farmers,” The Guardian,February 25, 2021:

For more information on the Agrarian Trust, see:

Information on Portland, Maine’s services and hospitality to asylum seekers and refugees comes from Eric Russell, “We bring our dreams with us.  All of us,” Portland Press Herald, November 14, 2021:

The Center for American Progress Report contains the information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the quote on immigrants breathing “fresh life” into rural areas as well as the information about Arcola, Illinois including the statistics on the Hispanic population of Arcola.  It also provides the statistics regarding United States rural population from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:  “Revival and Opportunity, Immigrants in Rural American,” September 2, 2018:

Information on the New Roots community farms sponsored by the International Rescue Committee can be found in “How refugee farmers are confronting food insecurity in the U.S.” October 14, 2021:


Episode 19: Expedite at What Cost?

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University’s College of Law, Refugee and Forced Migrations Studies Program and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  The podcast requests listeners to file comments opposing DHS and DOJ proposed regulations governing Credible Fear Screening by Asylum Officers.

ACTION STEP: You can file comments opposing part of or all of the proposed regulations before 11:59 p.m. EDT, Tuesday October 19.  CLINIC, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., has provided a sample template that provides instructions and helpful arguments to prepare and then submit your comments.

If you are unable to meet this Tuesday’s deadline, please consider corresponding with the White House and your Senators and Representative to oppose these proposed regulations.  The template offers sample language you might find helpful in communicating with elected representatives.

These proposed regulations, in the alleged name of effectiveness, efficiency, and streamlining, may preclude many deserving asylum seekers from obtaining a full and fair hearing before an Immigration Judge, and therefore, be denied asylum and other remedies.  DHS and DOJ have invited members of the public to comment on the proposals.  The template above offers a relatively simple way to respond.  The template provides significant information and resources on the failings of the proposed regulations.  You can submit your comments and also view the proposed regulations and explanation at:

You may find more information on the proposed regulations in a summary by the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at:

Jeffrey Chase’s quote comes from his blog, “The Need for Full-Fledged Asylum Hearings,” October 6, 2021 at:

The $15 million-dollar contract with the GEO Group is cited in Rafael Bernal, “US Faces Daunting Task in Relationship with Haiti,” October 10, 2021 at:

More information on how private for-profit detention corporations undermine our nation’s commitment to access to attorneys, due process, and commitments made to asylum seekers can be found at:    Statement of the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security Hearing Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation & Operations Oversight of ICE Detention Facilities: Examining ICE Contractors’ Response to COVID-19 July 13, 2020,

More information on tent courts and the difficulty attorneys face in meeting with clients to prepare cases can be found at, Mousin, Craig B., Health Inequity and Tent Court Injustice (February 1, 2021). AMA J Ethics. 2021;23(2):E132-139, Available at SSRN:


Lawful Assembly Episode 18: Fear of Freedom

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University College of Law and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  The podcast contends that United States discrimination against Haitians over the last two centuries has created a moral obligation to Haiti and its residents.  Most recently, efforts to swiftly deport Haitians, contrary to the Refugee Act’s non-return requirement, reveals how efforts to restrict Haitian asylum-seekers over the last forty years has contributed to the continual denigration of asylum protections under the Refuge Act of 1980.

ACTION STEP:  The United Church of Christ offers you a way to promptly inform your representatives that deportations to Haiti must cease at:

A petition to stop Haitian deportations:

For additional information on the history of United States responses to Haiti and Haitian asylum seekers, Azadeh Erfani of  the National Immigrant Justice Center’s writes:  “President Biden, It is Past Time to Protect Haitian Asylum Seekers, at:

An American Immigration Council report on Haiti can be found at: Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, “Del Rio Migrant Camp Shows How Biden Administration Is Not Living Up to Its Promises” at:

See also, Raymond Joseph, former envoy of Haiti to Washington, “Haiti Cries Out: Where is President Biden, as My Countrymen Swelter Under a Bridge in Texas,”

Former Justice Harry A. Blackmun’s quote from his dissent is at page 208 in Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, 509 U.S. 155, (1993).  His other quotes in the podcast are from his law review article, “The Supreme Court and the Law of Nations,” 104 Yale L.J. 39, 44 (1994). (

Professor Peniel Joseph’s quote can be found at: “This Is the Story of Haiti That Matters Most,” (August 20, 2021) at:

Professor Annette Gordon-Reed’s quote can be found at:  “We Owe Haiti A Debt We Can’t Repay,” (July 21, 2021) at:

Episode 17: Leave the Campsite Cleaner

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University College of Law and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  The podcast celebrates the decision by Dynegy Midwest Generation to enter into a settlement agreement with the State of Illinois to remove 3.3 million cubic yards of coal ash from its current location adjacent to the Middle Fork of the Vermillion River.  Illinois’s only National Scenic River, the Middle Fork, offers one of the most diverse habitats for animals and plants in Illinois, but remains threatened by erosion of the river bank near the coal ash pits.  The coal ash will now be removed, in part, through successful collaboration from environmental groups and citizen advocacy, including:

Eco-Justice Collaborative, (,

PrairieRiversNetworks (

EarthJustice’s coal ash program (

You may also find photos of the river and its exposed river bank on those websites.  You may also help ensure implementation of the settlement agreement.  You can find action steps and options on their respective websites.

The United Nations has established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to assess the science related to climate change.  On August 6, 2021, it issued its most recent report including the findings mentioned in the beginning of the podcast.  You can find this report at:

For an example of a current lawful assembly engaged in protecting water against an oil pipeline, all are invited to join the Treaty People Walk for Water.  Starting on August 7, water protectors are walking from the headwaters of the Mississippi River to the Minnesota State Capitol Building by August 25.  For more information, see: or you may find more information about the Indigenous Environmental Network at:

Lawful Assembly Episode 16: Posterity

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University College of Law and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  This podcast argues that the Preamble to the Constitution invites you to add your voice to protecting and expanding voting rights to ensure the nation’s promise of equality for all.  Since the Civil War, our nation has amended the United States Constitution at least once every fifty years to expand voting rights to persons previously excluded.  The summer of 2021 marks fifty years since the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18.  Today, however, we face, renewed efforts to restrict voting rights through reluctance in Congress or state legislation making it more difficult to register and vote.  It is time to assemble with others to protect and expand voting rights through local and national action.

You can read the Constitution at:

Citations to Professor Akhil Amar are from his book, America’s Constitution, A Biography, (Random House, NY, 2005), (states waiving restrictions, thus expanding the number of persons eligible to participate in the state ratification process of the Constitution: 7) (no amendment has restricted voting rights: 19) (union not a league or confederacy: 33) (immigrant signers of the Declaration of Independence and members of the First Congress and First Supreme Court: 164).  Information on the efforts to repeal state anti-black laws in the 19th Century can be found in Kate Masur, Until Justice Be Done, America’s First Civil Rights Movement, From the Revolution to Reconstruction, (W.W. Norton & Company, N.Y., 2021) (black laws defined: 16-19) (William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, 237-238).  For more information on Group Action for Peace, see: Robert Armbruster, “‘Working Within the System’ Youths Press for Registration,” (The Record, August 24, 1970).

To find additional information on the Helen C. Peirce School for International Studies, see:

For information on one historical assembly to protect the rights of freed black Chicagoans prior to the Civil War, see Craig B. Mousin, “A Clear View from the Prairie: Harold Washington and the People of Illinois Respond to Federal Encroachment of Human Rights,” 29 S. Ill. L. J. 285 (Fall, 2004/Winter, 2005), 209-304.

For a current example of urging Congress to provide the DACA students with a path to citizenship, over 500 college and university Presidents and Chancellors recently called upon Congress to legislate a “permanent roadmap to citizenship for undocumented youth and students.” see:

In addition to DACA recipients, John Washington on Lationo USA reports about a proposed New York City bill that would expand the right to vote in municipal elections to non-citizen residents.  You can find his story at:

#Preamble #moreperfectunion #ourposterity #votingrights #USConstitution #DREAMERS #DACA

Lawful Assembly – Episode 15: Home

This is an interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member of the DePaul University College of Law and the Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  This podcast links the loss of homes felt by many of the freed slaves after the Civil War, including George Floyd’s great-great grandfather, with the loss of home many refugees face when forced to flee their nations due to state sanctioned violence and the consequences of the breakdown of the rule of law.  We face challenges both at our borders, but also when we contribute to the conditions that force families to flee their homes.  We need to address ways to provide the rule of law and justice for all.  The story of George Floyd’s family history and the loss of his great-great grandfather’s 500 acres comes from Toluse Olorunnipa and Griff Witte, “Born with two strikes, How systemic racism shaped Floyd’s life and hobbled his ambition,”

Senn High School, located in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago, is one of the most diverse high schools in the nation.  Its students and their families speak over 80 languages and claim over 60 nations as their birth homes.  Congratulate its graduates and learn more about our neighborhood high school at:

Frederick Douglass’ call for simple justice comes from David W. Blight, Frederick Douglass Prophet of Freedom, (N.Y., 2018), 558-59.

Rev. Garrison   Frazier and the black leaders’ activism in Savannah, Georgia comes from Eric Foner, Reconstruction, America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877, (N.Y., 1988), 70.


Action Steps:

Information about the Community Renewal Society’s Juneteenth film screening of “Crawford: The Man the South Forgot,” can be found at:   You can find some of the current programs CRS sponsors to seek simple justice toda at:

Information on the National Immigrant Justice center and the “We Are Home” campaign,  can be found at:

Information of the proposed Berta Caceres Human Rights Act of 2021can be found at:



Lawful Assembly – Episode 14:

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. President Biden recently responded to a national outcry protesting the limitation of refugee resettlement in this fiscal year to 15,000 refugees and reversed his decision, raising the goal to welcome 62,500 refugees.  This podcast encourages advocates to encourage the administration to achieve that goal and collaborate with resettlement agencies to revitalize the public-private partnership that will continue to benefit our communities.

President Biden’s announcement can be found at:

The specific numbers allocated for this fiscal year can be found at:

Chicago refugee resettlement programs include:

Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago:

Heartland Human Care Services:


The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago Refugee Resettlement Program:

World Relief Chicagoland Refugee Resettlement:

Susan Gzesh’s article on an alternative allocations for refugee resettlement can be found at:

Lawful Assembly Podcast – Episode 13: A Call to Resettle Refugees

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy. In February, President Biden announced that he would restore the United States partnership in refugee resettlement by inviting up to 125,000 refugees to our nation in the next fiscal year.  He also said he would increase the number of refugees previously designated for resettlement in this fiscal year.  The Presidential Determination increasing refugee resettlement in this fiscal year to 65,000 has not been yet signed.  One workable response to rebuilding would be to resettle refugees to reach those numbers.  In the midst of the turmoil, this would be one significant step to protect the vulnerable. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) Report on the few refugees resettled in 2021 can be found at:

Chaplain Abdul-Malik Ryan’s article on Ramadan can be found at:

For ideas on how to respond, IRC offers this action:

HIAS offers these actions:

You can find information on the Illinois resettlement agencies and their work at:

Chicago programs include:

The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago Refugee Resettlement Program:

Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago:


Heartland Human Care Services:

World Relief Chicagoland Refugee Resettlement:

Lawful Assembly Episode 12: Shared Values

This is a podcast interview with Rev. Craig B. Mousin, founder and former Director of the Midwest Immigrant Rights Center and an Adjunct Faculty member at DePaul University’s College of Law and The Grace School of Applied Diplomacy.  As the United States begins to reform immigration law in the midst of a multitude of developments at the nation’s borders, the podcast encourages us to respond to our shared values of living under the rule of law.  When our debate focuses on naming individuals as illegals prior to adjudication, it leads to gridlock.  By focusing on why we have established a refugee law and the importance of fair and just procedures, we may instead build upon those shared values.  The podcast also explains how criminal and civil law addresses those who seek to cross the border without authorization.

For information on the Border Patrol budget, see “The Cost of Immigration Enforcement and Border Security,” provided by the American Immigration Council at:  (January 21, 2021).

For information on ways to address refugees at the border without simply relying on detention, see the report by the National Immigrant Justice Center, “A Better Way: Community-Based Programming As An Alternative To Immigrant Incarceration” at  (April 22,2019).

For more information and sources on the impact of the Title 42 regulation closing much of our border allegedly on public health concerns, see “Health Inequity and Tent Court Injustice,” at:

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