Past Event

POSTPONED - Defending the Sanctuary Movement

November 18, 2021
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Jerome Greene Hall, 435 W. 116 St., New York, NY 10027


This event has been postponed in solidarity with the SWC strike. New date TBD. Thank you for understanding!



Over the last several years, immigration advocates have brought several religious liberty lawsuits defending their right to assist migrants as a matter of faith. Most famously, members of the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths successfully defended their right to leave food and water in the desert for migrants crossing the Southern border as a form of religious exercise.  Professor Alina Das joins us to discuss the latest lawsuit at the intersection of faith and immigration.

In Austin Sanctuary Network v. Mayorkas, Professor Das represents several leaders of the faith-based immigrant Sanctuary Movement, who are themselves undocumented women who have lived in sanctuary churches. Professor Das will discuss how her team developed the legal arguments and strategy around the case’s religion-based claims, how the claims fit into the larger immigration justice movement, and how they complement the free speech and other arguments in the case.

Speaker bios

Alina Das is an immigrant rights activist, lawyer, and professor at New York University (NYU) School of Law. Professor Das is the co-director of the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, a leading institution in national and local struggles for immigrant rights. She defends the rights of immigrants facing deportation and partners with community groups on immigrant rights campaigns. Her legal scholarship has been published by leading law journals and cited by the U.S. Supreme Court. She is the author of No Justice in the Shadows: How America Criminalizes Immigrants (Bold Type Books, April 2020).

Elizabeth Reiner Platt (Liz Platt) is the Director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project at Columbia Law School. Before joining Columbia, she was a Staff Attorney at MFY Legal Services Mental Health Law Project. After graduating from New York University School of Law, she was a Carr Center for Reproductive Justice Fellow at A Better Balance. During law school, Liz worked with the Urban Justice Sex Workers Project, New York Civil Liberties Union, and Brennan Center for Justice. In 2013, she published Gangsters to Greyhounds: The Past, Present and Future of Offender Registration, 37 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 727 (2013).

Contact Information

Lilia Hadjiivanova