2020 ABA House of Delegates Annual Meeting: Policy Update

In February 2020, the African Affairs Committee (Victoria Safran, Chair) wrote to Members of Congress urging them to pass U.S. Senate Resolution 292 on Cameroon. The resolution calls on the Government of Cameroon and armed separatist groups to respect the human rights of all Cameroonian citizens, to end all violence, and to pursue an inclusive dialogue to resolve the conflict in the Northwest and Southwest regions. Through the hard work of Ms. Safran and committee member Doris Toyou, Resolution 10A passed the House of Delegates at the ABA’s Annual Meeting on August 3, urging the United States to i) take all necessary and proper actions within its power to end the ongoing armed conflict in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon, and ii) specifically promote consensual change in Cameroon’s electoral process by: 1) Passing S. Res. 292, 116th Cong. (2019)…; 2) Making use of available foreign policy tools to sanction Cameroon over human rights abuses; 3) Urging the United Nations to conduct an International Commission of Inquiry on Cameroon; and 4) Urging Cameroon to reform its electoral process, and ask the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the African Union to join in the effort.

The ABA House of Delegates also passed Resolution 10F,  urging, among other things, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s temporary exemption for continuing, incoming, and future nonimmigrant student visa holders taking any combination of in-person, hybrid, and online classes (whether synchronous or asynchronous) for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, permitting F1 and M-1 nonimmigrant student visa holders to take a full schedule of hybrid or online courses while maintaining their visa status. With the input of the Council on International Affairs (Michael D. Cooper, Chair), the Council on the Profession (Dean Matthew Diller and Melissa Colon-Bosolet, Co-Chairs), and the Immigration and Nationality Law Committee (Victoria Neilson, Chair), the resolution was co-sponsored and supported by the City Bar.