Students who defend immigrants with past convictions learn complex legal analysis and writing skills, detailed factual investigation, and how to think on their feet in court.
Cases at the Intersection of Immigration and Criminal Law
Matter of R
Matter of M
IRC students represented Z in adversarial removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Z faced removal due to past drug convictions, despite being a longtime lawful permanent resident. Clinic students represented Z in court, to show that Z has rehabilitated himself from prior drug addiction, and has been sober for years. Thanks to the creative lawyering of IRC students, Z prevailed in his case and currently lives with his four young United States Citizen children and a United States Citizen spouse.
IRC students assisted M, a lawful permanent resident from Fiji who has lived in the United States with his family for over 21 years. M had some minor brushes with the criminal justice system as a young adult, and DHS alleged that the government could deport M based on a very old conviction. Clinic students developed and filed a complex brief before the immigration judge, and also represented M at a contested hearing. Students argued that M's old conviction should not lead to his deportation as a matter of law. The students prevailed, and M no longer lives under threat of removal.
Impact Litigation on Behalf of Immigrants with Past Convictions
For over a decade, the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic has worked on impact litigation to make sure that immigrants are not subjected to deportation based on old convictions for which they have served their time. Students have developed new legal arguments and written complex briefs that were filed before the federal courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Clinic students have contributed to many key cases at the intersection of immigration and criminal law.Learn More