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Immigration & Human Rights Clinic Receives 2017 CORO Community Service Award

Monday, October 16, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Looney
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Phetmano Phannavong ’17, Saba Ahmed, Jason Barros ’18, Prof. Lindsay Harris, Liana Montecinos ’18, Margareta “Adina” Bora ’17, Mariana Georgieva ’17
Phetmano Phannavong, ’17, Saba Ahmed, Jason Barros, ’18, Prof. Lindsay Harris, Liana Montecinos, ’18, Margareta “Adina” Bora, ’17,
and Mariana Georgieva, ’17, at the awards ceremony.

The District of Columbia Courts honored the UDC Immigration & Human Rights Clinic with the 2017 CORO Community Service Agency Award. The award is given for outstanding service to the Latino community. These awards are given as the culmination of Hispanic Heritage Month. CORO, the Spanish word for choir, stands for Community, Outreach, Recognition and Opportunity; according to the DC Courts, “These awards are given in recognition of those whose outstanding service to the Latino community has enhanced the lives of Latinos in the District of Columbia.”

The Immigration & Human Rights Clinic is co-directed by Professors Lindsay M. Harris and Kristina Campbell and LL.M candidate Saba Ahmed.

The following description of the work of the UDC Law Immigration & Human Rights Clinic was submitted to the DC Courts upon the Clinic’s receipt of the CORO Award.

“The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law’s Immigration and Human Rights Clinic was founded in 2010. Since then, Co-Director and founding faculty member, now the Jack & Lovell Olender Professor of Law, Kristina Campbell has been working with students to represent indigent immigrants in our community, many of whom are survivors of domestic violence. In 2016, Professor Lindsay M. Harris joined the faculty and now Co-Directs the Clinic, bring her substantial expertise in representing survivors of gender-based violence. This semester, our six clinic students are working to represent three Honduran families, all of whom are survivors of domestic violence and are seeking protection in Arlington immigration court. On November 17, 2017, the Clinic will partner with Human Rights First and our Latino/a Law Students Association to staff a pro se asylum filing workshop for adults with children – many of whom will also be survivors of domestic violence seeking protection in the United States.

Our scholarship also tends to focus on issues surrounding domestic violence. Professor Harris’ current work in progress, for example, examines the phenomenon of massive law student engagement in family detention centers, where children and their mothers are held en masse in Texas. She would estimate that around 35-60% of the population at any one time in those detention centers are survivors of domestic violence. Professor Harris has also previously written on gender-based asylum claims in South Africa[1] and a practitioner-oriented piece regarding how to work with experts in gender-based asylum cases.[2] Both Professor Harris and Campbell provide personal pro bono representation to immigrant survivors of gender-based violence, too.[3] Professor Campbell’s most recent article, pending publication, also discusses the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s and the way in which that has impacted current policies to detain Central American women and children fleeing gang and gender-based violence.[4]

[1] Untold Stories: Gender-related Persecution and Asylum in South Africa, 15 Mich. J. Gender & L. 291 (2009).

[2] Expert Evidence in Gender-Based Asylum Cases: Cultural Translation for the Court, Benders Immigration Bulletin Vol. 17(22) (2012).

[3] See, e.g.,

[4] Operation Sojourner: The Government Infiltration of the Sanctuary Movement in the 1980s and its Legacy on the Modern Central American Refugee Crisis, U. St. Thomas L.J. (2017) (forthcoming)

Saba Ahmed, Tijuana Barnes ’18, Kelechi Agbakwuru ’18, Carmen Jones Diaz ’18, Prof. Lindsay Harris, Margaret Dawson ’18, Christina Lombardi ’18, Makeda Crane ’18
Saba Ahmed, Tijuana Barnes, ’18, Kelechi Agbakwuru, ’18, Carmen Jones Diaz, ’18, Prof. Lindsay Harris, Margaret Dawson, ’18,
Christina Lombardi, ’18, and Makeda Crane, ’18.


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