Thursday, October 23, 2014
Harvard Magazine has a nice profile on immigration and refugee law professor Deborah Anker. When Anker joined the Law School faculty in the mid 1980s, immigration law was not on the curriculum. (I graduated from HLS in 1983 and can vouch for that.). In addition to teaching the first full immigration-law course offered at the law school, Anker in 1984 co-founded the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, a direct services clinic that engages students in representating asylum applicants.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Sunday, October 5, 2014
CNN reports that women detained at an immigration detention facility in Texas allege that employees there have sexually abused them, including by removing them from their cells at night for sex as well as fondling them in front of others, lawyers wrote in a letter to federal officials this week.
The allegations were detailed in a letter from several immigrant advocacy groups to officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security, which had hired one of America's for-private prison operators to run the facility. Zoe Carpenter in the Nation has an insightful story on the private detention companies and how they benefit for increases in immigrant detention.
"We call for an immediate investigation into these serious allegations of sexual abuse and the immediate protection of all women and children forced to reside in the facility," the letter, sent by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) on behalf of all the advocacy groups, reads. ImmigrationProf reported on this letter earlier this week.
In a September 25 letter, the immigration clinic at the University of Texas School of Law asked federal immigration officials to investigate numerous complaints from detainees, including that children didn't have access to a variety of nutritious snacks between meals, that messages from attorneys weren't getting to their clients in a timely manner, and that -- although they had access to a nurse -- no doctor was on staff to handle significant medical issues such as respiratory infections and chronic illnesses.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The EOIR has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking to amend 8 C.F.R. §§ 1003, 1240, and 1241.
One change is literally in name only. The EOIR wants to rename what is currently the "List of Free Legal Services Provides," re-titling it be the "List of Pro Bono Legal Services Providers." The change, they say,
reflects the relevant statutory language (see INA 208(d)(4)(B), 239(a)(1)(E), 239(b)(2)), describes more accurately the nature of the services provided, and will improve the integrity of the List. Further, removing the word “free” will clarify that entities and private attorneys on the List are not necessarily available to work free of charge for every alien regardless of the alien's financial means or the type of legal work involved. Rather, use of the term “pro bono” indicates that such services are for the public good, e.g., to help ensure qualified representation for those indigent aliens who do not have sufficient means to hire a private attorney.
The EOIR would also like to "enhance the eligibility requirements for organizations, private attorneys, and referral services to be included on the List of Pro Bono Legal Service Providers." Specifically they propose:
- professional conduct standards
- ability to provide pro bono legal services in association with organizations and referral services
- minimum requirement of 50 pro bono hours per year
- continuing certification
- public participation
The impetus for these changes comes from
complaints from numerous government sources and the public that certain private attorneys may be using the List to advertise or solicit for paying clients, and do not provide legal representation to a significant number of aliens on a pro bono basis or for any particular amount of time
E-comments regarding this proposal are due by November 17, 2014.
Monday, August 4, 2014
The Refugee and Human Rights Clinic (RHRC), in collaboration with the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS), at U.C. Hastings is seeking applications for a two-year teaching fellowship (July 2015 - June 2017). The fellowship provides the opportunity to learn how to teach law in a clinical setting. The fellow will work under the supervision of the RHRC Director, Karen Musalo, and will share in the full-range of responsibilities of teaching the RHRC, including co-teaching the clinic seminar, and supervising the clinic students’ work.
Requirements for candidates:
Experience in asylum and immigration law (experience in human rights law is a plus, but not required)
Excellent academic record
Two to five years minimum practice experience, including some direct representation
Admission to a State bar
Excellent analytical and writing skills
Aptitude for student supervision
Prior teaching experience is a plus; and
Bilingual ability in Spanish is desirable
Salary and benefits: The Fellow will receive a salary of $52,000 per year, with full benefits, which includes health, dental and vision care insurance plans.
To apply: Send a resume, law school transcript, writing sample, and a statement of interest. The statement should address: 1) why you are interested in this fellowship; 2) how your experiences make you particularly suitable to contribute to the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic; 3) your specific experience with asylum, or other immigration cases, and/or international human rights litigation or advocacy; 4) your professional goals and how this fellowship is related to your longer-term goals; 5) your understanding of the objectives of clinical teaching.
Address your application to: Clinical Fellowship, Refugee and Human Rights Clinic, U.C. Hastings, 200 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, and submit it electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write in the subject line: your last name, RHRC Fellowship Application. The resume, law school transcript, writing sample and statement of interest should be sent as attachments to your email.
Deadline for applications: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are submitted, with a deadline of November 1, 2014.
The Associated Press released a nice story about the University of Baltimore School of Law's Immigrant Rights Clinic and its director, Professor Elizabeth Keyes. "Keyes said some of the most compelling cases are those of children who cross the U.S. border illegally, sometimes without family members accompanying them, and often fleeing gang violence." Its not easy for all of them to get access to legal representation, especially for those who are detained at the border, Keyes said.
Keyes shares her clinic’s space (and, on occasion, some of its student-lawyers) with the Baltimore office of Kids in Need of Defense, a nonprofit organization that seeks to ensure no unaccompanied immigrant minor must appear in immigration court without representation. In its offices across the country, KIND recruits and trains attorneys who will take immigrant minors’ cases pro bono.
Friday, November 22, 2013
This guest post on Lifted Lamp by Liz Keyes, who directs the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of Baltimore, recounts the case of a young woman from Honduras, born male but always feeling female inside, won asylum after suffering relentless torment from her earliest days until she fled at age 17.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Texas alwas does things larger than life. The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during the first six months of FY 2013 the government reported 50,468 new immigration prosecutions. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annual total of prosecutions will be 100,936 for this fiscal year. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this estimate is up 9.8% over the past fiscal year when the number of prosecutions totaled 91,941.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
The University of Chicago Law School is seeking qualified applicants for a full-time position training and supervising law students as a Fellow, appointed with the rank of Lecturer, in the Law School’s International Human Rights (IHR) Clinic. The position will begin June 1, 2013, or later. The appointment is for one year, but reappointment for a second term is also possible. The IHR Clinic works for the promotion of social and economic justice globally, including in the United States. The IHR Clinic uses international human rights laws and norms as well as other substantive law and strategies to draw attention to human rights violations, develop practical solutions to those problems using interdisciplinary methodologies, and promote accountability on the part of state and non-state actors. IHR Clinic projects include litigation in domestic, foreign, and international tribunals, as well as non-litigation projects, such as documenting violations, legislative reform, drafting reports, and training manuals. Click here for details.
Monday, February 25, 2013
The Mills Legal Clinic of Stanford Law School invites applicants for a staff attorney position with its Immigrants' Rights Clinic ("IRC"). The Staff Attorney will join the thriving clinical community at Stanford Law School where, together with the clinical faculty and staff, she or he will help train law students to work on immigrants' rights litigation and advocacy. The IRC represents individual noncitizen clients in a variety of matters, including immigration court proceedings on behalf of noncitizens with criminal convictions, applications to secure status for noncitizen survivors of domestic violence, and asylum cases. The IRC also litigates immigrants' rights cases in the federal courts, including habeas petitions on behalf of detained noncitizens, appeals in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and other federal courts of appeals, and other impact litigation on behalf of noncitizens challenging Department of Homeland Security policies. In addition to its litigation work, the IRC conducts advocacy on behalf of immigrants' rights organizations in a variety of areas, including advocating for immigrants in detention, working alongside local organizations in grassroots organizing, developing and distributing know-your-rights materials, legislative and regulatory advocacy, international human rights advocacy, and enabling immigrants' rights groups to access legal services.
Click here for the full position posting.
The Clinical Fellow in the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of Massachusetts School of Law—Dartmouth will work in the Immigration Law Clinic on student supervision, client representation, teaching, developing and enhancing community involvement and advocacy, and occasionally appellate work. The Fellow will work closely with experienced attorneys, clinicians, and academics at the Law School.
For the complete job description, please go here.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Juris Doctorate; Admission to the Massachusetts Bar or eligibility to be waived into practice in Massachusetts upon assuming clinical responsibilities; Previous student/staff experience in a law clinic; however, no prior position as Clinical Law Fellow or one substantially similar. Evening and weekend hours and travel as required. T
o apply please send a letter of interest, current resume and the contact information for three professional references to : Search for Clinical Law Fellow-Law School, Office of Human Resources,285 Old Westport Rd., North Dartmouth, MA 02747. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2013.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Immigration and Child Welfare Clinician-Scholars Featured at the Hofstra Symposium on Immigrants and the Family Court
As previously announced on this blog, Theo Liebmann and Lauris Wren at Hofstra Law School put together a fantastic symposium on Immigrants and the Family Court, which was timed with the release of a special issue of the Family Court Review published by Wiley-Blackwell in conjunction with the symposium. The special issue and the symposium featured a number of immigration and child welfare clinicians whose scholarly work has brought much-needed attention to what Theo and Lauris dubbed, "unique challenges presented by working with families and children who are immigrants - both documented and undocumented - and the complex interplay between immigration issues and the family court's obligations to serve the families and children who come before it."
Braving post-Sandy clean-up and gas rationing, the symposium drew an impressive number and diversity of participants, including representatives from stakeholders in the immigration, family justice and child welfare systems as well as advocates, scholars and journalists. The day opened with a keynote address by The Honorable Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson, the Administrative Judge of the New York City Family Court. The first two panels focused on the basics of immigration law for family law practitioners and improving how family courts serve immigrant youth and families. The latter panel, moderated by Veronica Thronson, Director of the Immigration Law Clinic at Michigan State, featured Bernard Perlmutter, Co-Director of the Children & Youth Law Clinic at U Miami and Jennifer Baum, Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic at St. John's. Veronica's article, "'Til Death Do Us Part: Affidavits of Support and Obligations to Immigrant Spouses" and Jennifer's article, "Most in Need But Least Served: Legal and Practical Barriers to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for Federally Detained Minors" were both featured in the special issue. The afternoon concluded with a panel on collateral immigration consequences of family court proceedings and featured Associate Professor of Clinical Law, Dan Smulian who teaches the Safe Harbor Project at Brooklyn Law.
The afternoon featured two panels addressing how undocumented status affects children and families and the future of special immigrant juvenile status. I was excited to present my article, "Unintended and Unavoidable: The Failure to Protect Rule and Its Consequences for Undocumented Parents and their Children" on an interdisciplinary panel featuring a journalist and a sociologist. Journalist Seth Freed Wessler whose groundbreaking report, "Shattered Families" is so regularly relied upon by legal scholars, and Jorge M. Chavez, a sociology professor at Bowling Green State University whose research focuses on the impact of unauthorized status on children's well-being, presented their work. Jorge's findings about the adverse impact of undocumented status on family stress, health outcomes, and educational attainment, may prove useful in future legal scholarship on this issue. The second panel featured two clinicians, Alison Kamhi, Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Immigrant Rights' Clinic at Stanford and Randi Mandelbaum, Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic at Rutgers-Newark. Alison co-wrote the SIJ article with Jennifer for the special issue, which also featured Randi's article, "Disparate Outcomes: The Quest for Uniform Treatment of Immigrant Children."
The highlight of the symposium was the closing session. Closing remarks delivered by a leading scholar on the intersection of immigration and family law, David Thronson, co-founder of the Immigration Law Clinic at Michigan State, focused on how immigration law and policy actively devalues children who are defined mainly by their relationship to adults. Howard Davidson of the American Bar Association presented best-practices for improving the experience of undocumented immigrants in family courts and the child welfare system, offering some pragmatic solutions for policy makers and advocates. But the star of the session was a formerly undocumented teen who, along with Lauren Burke - a staff attorney at the New York Asian Women's Center, gave a beautiful and touching spoken word performance from the perspective of an undocumented youth trying to find her way out of an abusive household despite the odds of the immigration system being stacked against her. The performance highlighted the work of Atlas: DIY, a cooperative empowerment center for immigrant youth and their allies.
Check out all of the articles, including a note about ethical advocacy for immigrant survivors of family crisis by Theo Liebmann, at the Wiley Online Library. The full agenda, including additional presentations by staff attorneys and advocates in the field, is available here.
-- Sarah Rogerson
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Do you want to post a profile of your law school's immigration law clinic on the ImmigrationProf blog? If so, please feel free to send me (email@example.com) a profile with information about the clinic -- and perhaps pictures and a story or two about a recent case.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Eighteen hotel employees reached a $130,000 settlement with HEI Hotels and Resorts over denial of meal and rest breaks required by California law. The settlement arose from claims filed with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement by employees of the Hilton Long Beach and Executive Meeting Center, owned and managed by HEI.
In hearings before the Labor Commissioner, workers described facing direct pressure from supervisors to work through meals and to skip rest breaks to keep up with increasingly heavy workloads. Some employees suffered injuries due to the unremitting nature of their work. Employees in the hotel’s kitchen, restaurant, room service, banquet services and housekeeping departments stepped forward to participate in the legal action. Most of the workers are “back of the house” monolingual Spanish speakers.
Under California law, employers must establish practices that do not discourage workers from exercising their right to full 30-minute meal periods and 10-minute rest breaks. The workers, current and former Long Beach Hilton employees, were supported in their efforts by UNITE HERE Local 11 and represented by the UC Irvine School of Law-Immigrant Rights Clinic and Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center.
"Like many at the hotel, I worked through my breaks for years while rushing from room to room changing beds and scrubbing floors," said Maria Patlan, a Hilton housekeeper. "I hope this money will help teach the Hilton Long Beach a lesson in how to treat people like me."
"Through persuasive testimony and painstaking analysis of time records, workers, law students, and public interest lawyers overcame the odds in a challenging area of the law. They showed that groups of employees with dedicated legal support can hold employers accountable for worsening conditions of work in the low-wage sector," said Sameer Ashar, Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic at UC Irvine School of Law.
Click here for more details.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Clinical Law Fellow The Clinical Fellow: Immigration Law Clinic, University Of Massachusetts School Of Law—Dartmouth
The Clinical Fellow in the Immigration Law Clinic at the University Of Massachusetts School Of Law—Dartmouth will work in the Immigration Law Clinic on direct representation, student supervision, teaching, and appellate and advocacy work. Here is the complete job description.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS; Juris Doctorate; Admission to the Massachusetts Bar or eligibility to be waived into practice in Massachusetts upon assuming clinical responsibilities.
EXPERIENCE: Previous student/staff experience in a law clinic.
OTHER: Evening and weekend hours and travel as required.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: • Previous experience in immigration law and practice • Previous successful completion of work as a law student in a law school’s immigration clinic • Ability to communicate in Spanish as a second language • Two years of practice experience in immigration removal defense, asylum practice and Special Immigrant Juvenile cases.
To apply please send a letter of interest, current resume and the contact information for up to three professional references to: Search for Clinical Law Fellow, Office of Human Resources, 285 Old Westport Rd., North Dartmouth, MA 02747. The review of applications will begin May 22, 2012 and continue until the position is filled.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Immigration Article of the Day: The 'Local' Migration State: The Site-Specific Devolution of Immigration Enforcement in the U.S. South by Matthew Coleman
"The 'Local' Migration State: The Site-Specific Devolution of Immigration Enforcement in the U.S. South"Law & Policy, Vol. 34, Issue 2, pp. 159-190, 2012 MATHEW COLEMAN, Ohio State University (OSU). ABSTRACT: This article examines the implementation of 287(g) authority and Secure Communities by several law enforcement agencies in Wake County and Durham County, North Carolina. I argue that despite being federally supervised programs, 287(g) and Secure Communities take shape within specific political, legal, policing, and biographic contexts, and, as such, take on a site‐specific form. I conclude that although site specificity is a characteristic of devolved immigration enforcement in the U.S. context, devolution also predictably relocates interior immigration enforcement to immigrant populations' spaces of social reproduction. Accordingly, programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities work at a suprasite level to amplify immigrant populations' everyday insecurities.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Yale Law Clinic Victorious: RESIDENTS TARGETED IN 2007 NEW HAVEN IMMIGRATION RAID REACH LANDMARK SETTLEMENT WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
We recently heard about the law enforcement problems in East Haven, Connecticut. Now, let's here the latest from neighboring New Havem.
Eleven New Haven residents whose homes were illegally raided by immigration agents almost five years ago have reached a settlement of a civil rights lawsuit against top U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, local agents, and the U.S. government.
The plaintiffs and their counsel will announce the settlement at a press conference on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 10:30 AM at the Wilson Branch Library in New Haven, Connecticut.
The eleven men alleged that in the early morning hours of June 6, 2007, approximately 20 ICE agents together with other federal, state, and local officers spread out across the predominantly Latino neighborhood of Fair Haven, invaded homes without warrants or consent, and illegally seized and arrested the men. Agents drew their weapons, pushed through the doors of residents’ homes, banged on bedroom doors, forced several men out of bed, and frightened young children present in some of the homes. The raids came just two days after the Board of Aldermen had approved Mayor DeStefano’s proposal for an Elm City Resident Card program to offer identification cards to all New Haven residents without regard to immigration status.
The plaintiffs alleged that the raids were carried out in retaliation for the City’s municipal identification program and other integrationist measures, and that they were targeted solely on the basis of their Latino appearance. To settle the claims in Diaz-Bernal et al. v. Myers et al., No. 3:09-cv-1734-SRU (D. Conn. filed Oct. 28, 2009), the federal government will pay $350,000 and has offered plaintiffs the choice of either immigration relief known as deferred action or termination of pending deportation proceedings.
The agreement appears to be the largest monetary settlement ever paid by the United States in a suit over residential immigration raids, and the first to include both compensation and immigration relief. “I remember everything that happened to me that morning as if it were yesterday,” Edinson Yangua-Calva, one of the plaintiffs, stated.
“There are things I haven’t been able to get over, it is something that stays with you forever,” he explained. “This settlement means a lot to me,” stated Cristobal Serrano-Mendez, another plaintiff.
“Five years of pressure on the government has led to this agreement, and I think that the government knows it did something wrong.” Amilcar Soto Velasquez, another plaintiff, sees the settlement as an opportunity to tell other victims of raids and abuse that they should not become disillusioned. “They should keep fighting,” he stated.
The eleven Plaintiffs, Eduardo Diaz-Bernal, Florente Baranda-Barreto, Edilberto Cedeño-Trujillo, Washington Colala-Peñarreta, Julio Sergio Paredes-Mendez, Cristobal Serrano-Mendez, Jose Solano-Yangua, Silvino Trujillo-Mirafuentes, Gerardo Trujillo-Morellano, Amilcar Soto Velasquez and Edinson Yangua-Calva, were represented by law students and attorneys at the Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School and pro bono counsel from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP of New York.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Post-Deportation Project Legal Victory: Haitian Deportee Allowed to Return to the U.S. to Rejoin Wife and Children
After being separated from his U.S. citizen wife and his two young U.S. citizen sons for the past two and a half years, a client of the Post-Deportation Human Rights Project (PDHRP) at Boston College will now be able to rejoin his family in Massachusetts. The Project’s Director, Professor Daniel Kanstroom, describes this as “a great, humanitarian decision that is the fruit of much excellent hard work by our Project’s attorneys. It is an example of the type of compelling case for which the Project was designed. We hope that it can serve as a model for other lawyers and law school clinics.”
Mr. L (not his real name) fled Haiti in 2002, after being the target of threats and harassment, and applied for asylum in the United States. While his asylum application was pending, he met his wife and became the primary caretaker of the couple’s special needs son. His asylum application was ultimately denied, however, and Mr. L was detained and deported to Haiti in May 2008, leaving behind his son and his wife, who at the time was expecting the couple’s second child. Although U.S. citizens can generally petition for their spouses, individuals who have been deported or who have spent periods of time in the U.S. “unlawfully” are barred from re-entering the country. In such instances, special waivers must be granted to allow the individual to obtain an immigrant visa and to return to their families. With the assistance of the PDHRP, Mr. L submitted applications to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services documenting the extreme emotional and financial hardship his wife and children were experiencing as a result of the separation, and requesting that he be granted a waiver. After waiting five months for a decision on the waiver applications, and more than two and a half years after his deportation, Mr. L was recently informed that the waivers were approved, and that he may now be issued his visa to return to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident. Mr. L may now obtain his visa and make travel arrangements so that he can reunite with his family.
The PDHRP, based at the Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College, aims to conceptualize a new area of law, providing direct representation to individuals who have been deported and promoting the rights of deportees and their family members through research, legal and policy analysis, media advocacy, training programs, and participatory action research. Its ultimate goal is to introduce legal predictability, proportionality, compassion, and respect for family unity into the deportation laws and policies of this country.