International Affairs Family Conference Human Migration: Law, Policy, and Human Rights

July 20, 2019 to July 27, 2019

IA 2019 has reached capacity, however you are encouraged to register for the wait list in case cancellations occur.  Please contact Kristin Laverty with any questions.

Human Migration: Law, Policy, and Human Rights

As long as borders have existed, people have crossed them, legally or not. Human migration has become one of our most pressing global issues. Driven by war, civil and domestic violence, climate change, political oppression, and economic inequality, flows of refugees and other migrants have swelled in many parts of the world. Anxiety about migration often fosters violent and hyper-nationalist reactions.
The 2019 International Affairs Conference will consider causes and effects of human migration. We’ll learn about national immigration policies, international agreements, and the rights and aspirations of migrating people—including some of the most vulnerable, resourceful, and inspiring members of our species.
Our faith traditions call us to extend hospitality and care to travelers and strangers. Global covenants assert the human rights of every person. A core ethical challenge of our time is to foster attitudes, relationships, policies, laws, and agreements most likely to produce a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all—including migrants.

Program Speakers

Each morning, the International Affairs conference hears a different speaker. This year we anticipate hosting experts in U.S. immigration law and policy, international agreements on migration and refugees, the social and economic causes and effects of migration, and humanitarian efforts to protect and resettle migrants.

Julie Dahlstrom

Julie Dahlstrom is a clinical associate professor at Boston University School of Law, where she teaches in the areas of immigration, human trafficking, gender-based violence, and public interest law. She also founded and directs the Immigrants’ Rights & Human Trafficking Program, which offers law students at BU the opportunity to represent noncitizen and survivor clients. Julie also founded and chairs the U and T Visa Working Group of the Immigration Coalition at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. She has written recently on immigration policy for The Hill.

Previously Julie served as a senior staff attorney for Casa Myrna Vazquez, where she represented survivors of commercial sexual and labor exploitation and engaged in systemic advocacy to remove barriers for survivors seeking to exit exploitation. She has served as a member of the Massachusetts Human Trafficking Task force and co-chair of its Victim Services Subcommittee.

Julie will discuss the expanding, evolving concept of human trafficking in the United States. What is human trafficking? When is an expansive definition of trafficking justifiable? How does trafficking relate to existing concepts—like domestic violence, sexual assault, labor exploitation, and prostitution—with which it often overlaps? Since 2000, Congress and all fifty states have passed legislation with varying definitions of the crime of human trafficking, presenting new and important challenges to protection and enforcement in the anti-trafficking field.

Daniel Kanstroom

Daniel Kanstroom author of Deportation Nation, Outsiders in American History, is currently working on a new book, Deportation World, which will explore the rise of deportation as a global phenomenon. Together with his students and co-counsel, he has provided counsel for hundreds of clients, won dozens of immigration and asylum cases (and lost a few), and authored amicus briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court and many other courts.

Dan is professor of law and Thomas F. Carney Distinguished Scholar at Boston College Law School, where he teaches immigration and refugee law, international human rights law, Constitutional law, and administrative law. He is co-director of the Center for Human Rights and International Justice and of the Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, which seeks to conceptualize and develop a new field of law while representing US deportees abroad. He founded the Boston College Immigration and Asylum clinic in which students represent indigent migrants and asylum-seekers.

Dan’s articles, book reviews and op-eds have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Journal of International Law, the UCLA Law Review, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the French Gazette du Palais, and many other venues.

Pardis Mahdavi

Pardis Mahdavi is the author of Crossing the Gulf, a pathbreaking study of the lives of migrants in the cities of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait City. Through stories of the intimate lives of women and their families, she shows how laws and policies can lead migrants into illegality, statelessness, deportation, detention, and abuse.

Pardis is currently acting dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Before coming to Denver, she served as professor and chair of anthropology, dean of women, and director of the Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College. She is a graduate of Occidental College, with a master’s in international affairs and PhD in sociomedical sciences and anthropology from Columbia.

In addition to Crossing the Gulf, Pardis has authored three books and edited one more in addition to numerous journal and news articles and is completing a work of literary fiction based on fifteen years of ethnographic fieldwork. Her current work looks at the linkages between culture, diplomacy, and the ethics of engagement.

Pardis has been a fellow at the Social Sciences Research Council, the American Council on Learned Societies, Google Ideas, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Maddalena Marinari

Maddalena Marinari, who teaches history at Gustavus Adolphus College, is the author of Unwanted: Italian And Jewish Mobilization Against Restrictive Immigration Laws, 1882–1965, forthcoming from the University of North Carolina Press. She is also an editor (with Maria Cristina Garcia and Madeline Hsu) of A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: U.S. Society in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965, an anthology on the impact of immigration restriction on the United States in the twentieth century. An immigrant herself, Maddalena has long been interested in the impact of immigration laws on immigrants, immigration flows, and American identity.

Maddalena’s talk will focus on the long history of the tension between including and excluding immigrants in U.S. history that has been at the heart of U.S. identity and culture since the founding of the nation.

Minister of the Week

The Reverend Ana Levy Lyons serves as senior minister of First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn. She is the author of No Other Gods: The Politics of the Ten Commandments, which reintroduces the Ten Commandments as practices for spiritual liberation and political resistance. She is a contributing editor for Tikkun magazine and has just finished writing a guide to preaching about climate change and ecological consciousness for the Center for Earth Ethics and Climate Reality Project.

Ana lives on the upper west side of Manhattan with her husband Jeff and eight-year-old twins, Miriam and Micah, who are all excited to be joining her on the island. She writes, “I’m thrilled to be coming to Star Island to spend a week with all of you. The natural beauty and elemental power of the island are a perfect setting for opening our hearts to the world around us. I hope we can all use our worship time together and our private meditation and prayer time to reground ourselves in our connections with the earth, sea, and sky.

Program Fee

$175 per adult 18 or over, $135 per youth.

Room & Board Rates

These rates include lodging, meals, and ferry transportation.

IA Standard Shared Standard Single Motel Shared Motel Single
Adult 18+    $1,006 $1,368 $1,239 $1,817




Youth rates are determined by age on the first day of the program, regardless of room type.

IA Under 6 6-11 Yrs 12-17 Yrs
Youths Free $466 $666

Ferry Schedule

Saturday, July 20

2:25 pm Thomas Laighton Depart Portsmouth

Saturday, July 27

8:20 am Thomas Laighton Depart Star


Email Registrar Kristin Laverty