Immigration Clinic Update
Friday, June 21, 2013
Posted by: Emily Ngara
The UDC Clarke School of Law Immigration & Human Rights Clinic represents non-citizens in the Arlington Immigration Court, which hears all the cases of non-citizens living in Virginia and the
District of Columbia who the government is actively seeking to remove from the
United States. This includes individuals detained in the three immigration
detention facilities in Virginia, who appear at hearings via teleconference.
These individuals include lawful permanent residents with certain criminal
convictions, individuals who have entered without inspection, those who have overstayed their visas,
unaccompanied minors, individuals fleeing persecution in their home countries,
and those who are in violation of the terms of their visas.
specializes in representing detained and non-detained individuals with criminal
convictions who seek relief from removal, and in assisting individuals with
defensive asylum claims. Students conduct client interviews, counsel clients, and ensure that the client remains the driving force of the litigation.
Students often drive several hours to work with their clients. Students also
engage in fact investigation. They: gather supporting evidence and country
conditions reports; draft all litigation-related documents including motions,
affidavits, and briefs; communicate with opposing counsel; and they argue their
clients’ cases before the Arlington Immigration Court.
Recently, the Clinic has
expanded its services to including assisting LGBT individuals seeking asylum in
the United States, and to assist non-citizen crime victims with applying for "U Visas," which are available to the victims of certain crimes who cooperate
with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the crime.
Clinic also represents individuals to appeal removal orders before the
Board of Immigration Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the
Fourth Circuit, when appropriate. Examples of issues the Clinic has raised on
appeal include violations of due process, statutory misinterpretation, and
novel issues of law which have not been addressed by the Board.