Deborah Anker Receives FBA-ILS New Member Award

Deborah Anker, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC), was honored for exceptional achievement for a new member of the Federal Bar Association. The Honorable Dorothy A. Harbeck presented the award last month, citing in her speech the relationship she’s formed with Anker over the years as an immigration judge. “I have relied upon her research and I am certainly honored to present her with the FBA-ILS New Member Award”.

Deborah Anker with the FBA-ILS New Member Award

The Federal Bar Administration (FBA) represents the Federal legal profession, represented by a membership of 17,000 federal lawyers and 1,200 federal judges. The mission of the Association is to strengthen the federal legal system and administration of justice by serving the interests and the needs of the federal practitioner, both public and private, the federal judiciary and the public they serve. Last year Harvard Law students formed an on-campus chapter of the FBA.

As part of the Conference, Anker gave a presentation on “‘Third Generation’ Central American Gangs and Refugee Law’s Political Opinion Ground”.  She spoke on the political and territorial goals that these ‘Third Generation’ (TG) Gangs have in the region. One authority she cited was Thomas J. Boerman, who believes that third generation gangs view failure to comply with recruitment and demands for payment as threats to their power. Anker argued that because of the influence over the State, among other reasons, resistance to gangs should be considered a form of political opinion (and basis for asylum protection). John Willshire Carrera, co-director of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Program’s site at Greater Boston Legal Services, also presented on “A ‘Child Centered Approach’ to Asylum Claims of Children Fleeing the Central American Triangle” at the Conference.

On receiving the award, Anker says: “I am honored to receive the FBA-ILS New Member Award. I look forward to continuing to work with the FBA to advance knowledge and practice in the field of immigration law”.

In June 2015, Anker and the Clinic received the Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association “in recognition of outstanding service in advancing the cause of human rights”.

Valentina Guerrero