Page 4 - 2016 Immigration Clinic Newsletter
P. 4

Courtesy of the UH Law Center

                                                                                                          Three appeals supported by the University of Houston Law
                                                                                                          Center Immigration Clinic were granted in spring 2016,
                                                                                                          overturning an immigration judge’s decision to deny
                                                                                                          Cornell law students access to immigration court.

                                                                                                           Clinical Associate Professor Geoffrey A. Hoffman, director
                                                                                                          of the Law Center’s immigration clinic, filed an amicus
                                                                                                          brief along with Sheila I. Velez Martinez, a Clinical
                                                                                                          Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School
                                                                                                          of Law, on behalf of the Cornell students. Hoffman
                                                                                                          also wrote a blog entry addressing the rarity of the
                                                                                                          decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals to grant the
                                                                                                          interlocutory appeals, an appeal of a ruling by a trial
                                                                                                          court that is made before the trial has concluded.
                                                                                                          “It should be emphasized that interlocutory appeals are
                                                                                                          rarely filed and even more rarely granted,” Hoffman said.
                                                                                                          “I counseled the filing of these interlocutory appeals
                                                                                                          because in my experience practicing immigration law it is
                                                                                                          a viable (if rarely used) option. Under these
                                                                                                          circumstances, it seemed directly relevant and
                                                                                                          appropriate to righting this particular wrong.”
                                                                                                          The immigration judge did not permit law students to
                                                                                                          represent clients in removal proceedings. The students
            Immigration Clinic students Karla Perez (left) and Caroline Ibrahim outside the UH Law Center.   were working on cases that involved three Central
                                                                                                          American clients – a gay respondent seeking asylum in the
              Under the supervision of Professor Janet Beck,   receive financial aid based on her permanent   United States, an unaccompanied child who had a pending
              Immigration Clinic students Norma Johnson and Yi   resident status, and her son is attending high   guardianship action, and proceedings with a mother and
              Li helped a Moroccan mother, and her two   school.                                          her 10-year-old son.
              children, win a Violence Against Women Act case
              and lawful permanent resident status. The abuser   Students in the UHLC Civil Clinic are working on   In one case, the judge noted his court was “not a law
                                                        this client’s divorce. The Houston Area Women's’
              physically abused our client as well as subjected                                           school clinic,” while in two others he cited a backlogged
              her and her children to psychological     Center also helped this client.  A volunteer      docket and difficulties with a new translation service.
              torment. Even after she separated from him, the   attorney was also involved in the initial stages of
                                                        this case as she had referred the case to the
              abuser continued to pursue her teenage daughter.
              Her daughter is now in college, having been able to   Immigration Clinic.                   Clinic here to read the full story.
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