Congratulations to the students, faculty and staff of the Mills Legal Clinic’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic on their creation of the first-ever U Visa manual designed to assist detained immigrants who are victims of crime.
Oliver Kroll (‘13) and Chris Skelton (‘13) collaborated with Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, California to develop a manual to help pro se immigrants in Northern California detention centers apply for U Visas. A U Visa is a generous form of legal relief for non-citizens who have been victims of serious crimes in the United States and have cooperated with law enforcement. The manual is the first of its kind in the country. To create the manual, Oliver and Chris visited the Richmond Detention Facility, interviewed detainees, and researched the requirements of the U Visa. They then designed the manual, complete with easy-to-follow pictures and diagrams, to explain the legal requirements and walk detainees through the process of applying for the visa on their own. Oliver and Chris also tested earlier drafts of the manual with the detainees at Richmond, collaborating with the detainees to ensure that the manual addresses their concerns and questions. The manual developed by Oliver and Chris has been translated into Spanish and will be distributed nationally to practitioners, included in immigration handbooks and resources, and circulated in detention centers to assist pro se detainees access much-needed immigration relief. Oliver and Chris were supervised by Clinic Director Jayashri Srikantiah and Alison Kamhi, Clinical Teaching Fellow. Anna Welch, the Cooley Godward Kronish Clinical Teaching Fellow, also contributed substantially to the creation of the documents, and Allie Thrall provided excellent legal assistance to the project.