Human Rights for Asylum Seekers

Clinic students represent asylum seekers fleeing persecution from gangs, cartels, and domestic violence. Students develop client and witness declarations, conduct complex legal research, prepare asylum submissions, and represent clients in immigration court.

Case Examples

Matter of R

IRC students helped R, a young mother from Mexico, to obtain a U visa and terminate the removal proceedings against her in immigration court. While living in Mexico, R was the victim of repeated sexual assaults and was forced into prostitution as a teenager. Upon arriving in the United States she was again victimized, this time at the hands of her domestic partner who assaulted her multiple times and threatened her with a machete. IRC students interviewed R on many occasions, developed R's legal theory and facts, and helped R obtain critical social services. R’s U visa application was ultimately granted and the IRC was able to obtain a derivative visa that allowed her young son to join her in the United States. After many years, R's family is now united and living together with lawful status in the United States.

Matter of C

IRC students assisted C, an undocumented single mother from Guatemala, in preparation for her upcoming Master Calendar Hearing. C was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her ex-partner who beat her and threatened to kill her. C attempted to run away multiple times until she finally escaped her ex-partner and fled to the U.S. C had been deported back to Guatemala once before, but after re-entering the U.S. and demonstrating reasonable fear of returning to her home country, C was able to apply for Withholding of Removal and Relief Under the Convention Against Torture Act. Students interviewed C, prepared for her hearing, conducted legal research, and investigated whether there were any challenges to C being subject to reinstatement of removal.
Alex & Megan at Court
The hearing went well, and I felt very prepared. We met our goals- setting a date for C's hearing and noting the asylum eligibility issue on the record. I really wanted to do a good job for C so that she felt confident in our representation of her...and I wanted her to feel safe and protected while walking into court with her team of lawyers.

Megan McKoy, JD '17

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Clinic Students Represent Asylum-Seekers at "Rocket Dockets"

Human Rights for Asylum Seekers 3

Karlo Dizon, JD '16

"Beginning with context -- the experience gave life to what had otherwise been (at least on my end) only theoretical and abstract notions of the removal apparatus and the individuals undergoing the process."

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Pablo Hernandez, JD '17

"Hearing respondents’ stories is always disconcerting. Our second respondent’s facial cues subtly implied sadness. And she had every reason to feel that way. She was kidnapped in her home country. She then fled with her husband and three kids aged between 10-14. But her husband is detained..."

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Alexa Graumlich, JD '17

"It was nice to have an immediate impact on people and make one part of this long process a little easier."

"When it was our turn to appear before the judge, it felt like something I had done many times before. I was not nervous at all." -- Pablo Hernandez, JD '17

"We've been working on getting asylum for E, a courageous woman from Central America. We knew that in the course of the quarter we would represent E at her first hearing in the United States, file her application for asylum, and schedule her merits hearing." -- Reid Gardner, JD '17, and Alice Hall-Partyka, JD '16

Immigrants’ Rights Clinic Files Lawsuit to Uncover Federal Government Policies on Deportation Procedures for Recent Central American Refugees

The public deserves to know the policies by which the federal government is considering the asylum claims of recent Central American children and families, many of whom have fled horrible persecution abroad.

Jayashri Srikantiah, Director, Immigrants' Rights Clinic

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