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Two Little Girls Became Citizens Today!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
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Law student Liana Montecinos with two new US citizens

Above, two of the newest - and cutest - US citizens, shown at left with student attorney Liana Montecinos, '18

Washington, DC - The UDC Law Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, shared some happy holiday news: two little girls, ages 12 and 8, from El Salvador received their naturalization certificates today! The Government had alleged that they were undocumented, but in fact the girls derived citizenship from their late father.

The Clinic took on this case in July 2016 to represent these two girls, sisters, who were in removal proceedings. They came as unaccompanied minors, from El Salvador, fleeing the gang violence in their neighborhood, and were reunited with family in the U.S. The Clinic identified that the girls’ late father had been a U.S. citizen. Based on this and a careful reading of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, Clinic students, under the supervision of Clinic Co-Director and Jack & Lovell Olender Professor of Law, Kristina Campbell, worked in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 to prepare naturalization applications for the girls and to appear in immigration court.

Clinic Co-Director and Assistant Professor of Law Professor Lindsay Harris writes: “Personally, I have never received one piece of paper that recognized someone previously identified as undocumented as a  U.S. citizen, so that was a wonderful feeling, especially for two such adorable and worthy girls.”

Students who worked with this effort include Kahlia Keita ’17, Sylvano Alvarez ’17, Elisa Pedrosa Hawkins ’18, Jason Wade ’18, Liana Montecinos ’18, and Jason Barros ’18.


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