Two Courtroom Victories In Two Days For UDC-DCSL Immigration Clinic
Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Posted by: Jordan Uhl
Natalie Griggs, left, and Anh Vu, both 3Ls at UDC-DCSL.
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Washington, DC—The Immigration Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL) has won two cases in the last 48 hours.
On Monday, 3Ls Natalie Griggs & Anh Vu won an asylum case on behalf of their client, who was seeking refuge due to years of severe domestic violence in her native country of El Salvador. Their client—a mother of 7 children—fled to the United States in 2012 in fear of her life and resettled in Virginia.
Griggs & Vu argued successfully that their client had a 'well-founded fear of persecution' and after a short hearing, the Immigration Judge accepted our arguments and granted our client asylum. She and her children may now begin the process of being legal permanent residents of the United States.
"I came to UDC for the clinical experience. Each student provides at least 700 hours (350 per clinic) of client-centered representation. I found my passion in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, working with others who aspire to advocate for social justice and change," Griggs said.
"The language barrier could be difficult at times, but knowing that what we were doing would impact the lives of a mother and her children pushed us harder. Seeing my client overwhelmed with tears of joy and relief after her asylum victory yesterday, and knowing that my supervisor, clinic partner, and I played a part in that was an indescribable feeling which I'll never forget."
From Left: Johan Fatemi, supervising attorney in the Immigration & Human Rights Law Clinic; Jessica Christy, 2L; Kristina Campbell, Professor of Law and Director of the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic; Jonathan Newton, 2L.
On Tuesday, Jonathan Newton & Jessica Christy, both 2Ls, represented a permanent resident of the United States in her application for cancellation of removal. Their client, who entered the United States as a permanent resident at the age of seven, was in deportation proceedings for a misdemeanor conviction that occurred nearly a decade ago. The client is now in her mid-30s and mother to three United States citizen children.
After reviewing the evidence filed by Newton & Christy regarding their client's rehabilitation, her substantial time as a legal resident of the United States, and other substantial equities in her favor, the government attorney did not oppose the application for cancellation of removal and it was granted by the Immigration Judge. The client now hopes to naturalize at the earliest possible opportunity.
"It was exhilarating having the judge grant our client relief and knowing that it was a result of all our hard work writing the brief and putting together the exhibits," Christy said. "I really appreciate getting to work with a partner, because together we were able to put together some of the best work I’ve ever done. And Professors [Kristina] Campbell and [Johan] Fatemi were instrumental in helping us develop our advocacy skills. We were able to learn while actually representing a client!"
To read more about UDC-DCSL's Immigration Clinic, click HERE.