Immigrants’ Rights Clinic Wins Deportation Case

Immigrants' Rights Clinic Wins Deportation Case
Kwan Kim, ’20, Mariel Perez-Santiago, ’20, and Derin McLeod, ’20 at San Francisco Immigration Court on the day of their client’s hearing.

Ms. D is the primary caretaker of her U.S. citizen children and grandchildren. She has been fighting to remain lawfully in the United States for over a decade. Ms. D retained the IRC just months before her final hearing was set to take place. During the 2019 Winter quarter, Mariel Perez-Santiago, ’20, and Elizabeth (“Liz”) Hannah, ’20, engaged in legal research to confirm that Ms. D was statutorily eligible for a waiver that would allow her to remain in the United States. They also conducted dozens of client and witness meetings in order to prepare a robust evidentiary submission. Finally, Mariel and Liz prepared a legal brief in support of Ms. D’s legal case. In the Spring of 2019, the case transitioned to Derin McLeod, ’20 and Kwan Kim, ’20. Derin and Kwan prepared Ms. D for her final hearing and represented her at the final hearing in May 2019.  Derin and Kwan worked closely with two expert witnesses and filed a 1300-page submission in support of Ms. D’s claim to remain lawfully in the United States. During the court proceeding, they delivered opening and closing statements and conducted a comprehensive direct examination of Ms. D. After a nearly two-year wait for the Judge’s decision, the IRC has just learned that her case was granted and she is finally a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).

Derin McLeod shares: “Ms. D has been such an important and persistent source of support for her family and her community. It was a privilege to learn about all she has done and to help her tell her story to the immigration judge. Lisa and Jayashri were the best guides anyone could hope for to work through the challenges in getting that story across. And I’m proud for the country that the government recognized Ms. D’s importance to people here and is at long last officially putting her on the path to citizenship.”