Mar 032017

The Florida Keys Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of will hold a town hall forum, “Key West: Sanctuary City? A Conversation about Immigrant Rights,” on March 9 from 7 – 9 PM at the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave, Key West. The forum is free and open to the public.

Panelists are: FIU Professor Erik Camayd-Freixas; Key West Immigration Attorney Wayne Dapser, Jonathan Fried, executive director of We-Count! ; and Howard Simon, Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida. Former Columbia Law Professor George Cooper will moderate the panel.

Dr. Erik Camayd-Freixas, professor of Hispanic Studies at FIU is a Harvard-trained communications analyst, social theorist, and expert linguist at federal and state courts. Dr. Camayd made international headlines with his essay, “Interpreting after the Largest ICE Raid in U.S. History: A Personal Account,” denouncing the criminalization of workers and deconstructing the repressive agenda of immigration enforcement.

Jonathan Fried has been the executive director of WeCount! since it was established in 2006.  WeCount! is a grassroots membership organization in Homestead, Florida that strives to build the power of Latin American immigrants and farm workers in Homestead to fulfill their aspirations of justice and equality. Fried was the recipient of the 2012 Rodney Thaxton Racial Justice Award by the Greater Miami Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Wayne Dapser, JD, is a graduate of Southwestern University School of Law, J.D. and a member of the Florida bar since 2001. Dapser focuses his practice solely on immigration matters. While Attorney Dapser’s office is located in Florida, he is qualified to represent immigration clients throughout the world.

Howard Simon has been the Executive Director of the ACLU of Florida since 1997. Dr. Simon was raised in New York, and graduated from the City College of New York. He received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota in legal and political philosophy and social ethics. As Executive Director of the Florida affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, Simon has overall responsibility for ACLU’s legal, public education, legislative lobbying, and membership and fund-raising programs.

George Cooper, moderator, is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He was a Professor at Columbia Law School from 1966 to 1985. He was very active in civil rights work during that time, and ran an Immigration Law Clinic in the early 1980’s providing free legal services, primarily to Haitians in deportation proceedings.

A future town hall/forum, “The Right to Assemble: What You Need to Know,” is planned for Thursday, April 13.

For more information about the Florida Keys Chapter of the ACLU and these programs, please call Chapter President Mary Sheerin at 305-304-8339 or email:

The Florida Keys chapter meets the second Saturday of every month at 11am at One Island Family on the corner of Petronia and Georgia Streets in Key West. The ACLU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization; we welcome everyone to join us in our constant fight to protect your constitutional rights.

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 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:06 am Issue #208, News, Public Notice  Add comments

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