News – Immigration Law
Clinic Students Assist Clients from 12 Countries
Since re-opening in fall 2015, the Immigration Law Clinic has assisted clients from 19 countries and four continents. In its first year back, the clinic represented more than 40 individuals, ranging in age from 6 to 64, in a variety of immigration matters, including naturalization, adjustment of status to legal permanent residency, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (for abused, abandoned or neglected children), asylum, family reunification petitions and U-visas (relief for victims of serious crimes).
The Immigration Law Clinic has a partnership with the local Refugee Resettlement Program at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge (CCDBR). With CCDBR as a partner, student clinicians will have the opportunity to provide services to a wide range of clients – through both educational outreach and direct legal service provision. They will organize informational sessions for the refugee participants in preparation for an Adjustment of Status Clinic, in which the student clinicians and other law school volunteers assist in the completion of Legal Permanent Residence (“green card”) applications for eligible refugees. In the fall, they will assist in a Naturalization Fair with CCDBR, as well.
Some of Our Successes
- This fall another client from Honduras, age 17, was granted asylum. The students working on his case were Wade Koch (’18) and Nils Langerstein (’17).
- Carmen Guidry (’19) assisted a Mexican national as she became a citizen.
- Ten clients were granted work authorization thanks to the work of M.J. Hernandez (’19), Carmen Guidry (’19), Kameron Whitmeyer (’19), Jackie Duhon (’18), Lana Georgiou (’19), and Alex Morgan (’18).
- This semester, nine of the Clinic’s clients were granted asylum. The individuals were from Honduras and El Salvador and ranged in age from 11 to 40. The students responsible for these wins included: Lindsey Elliott-Smith (’17), Logan Luquette (’17), Andrew Whall (’16), Philip Hunter (’16), Gabriel Loupe (’17), Chris Mitchell (’17), Bentley Baker (’17), Ahmed Soussi (’18), Mimi Duong (’17), Benjamin Wright (’17), Alex Morgan (’18), Stephanie Buehler (’17), Adrian Smith (’17), Gabriela Rodriguez (’18), Hailey Glenn (’18) and Kimberly Gubert (’18).
- Philip Hunter (’16) assisted his 40-year-old Sudanese client become a naturalized United States citizen!
- John Peacock (’17) successfully persuaded Immigration and Customs Enforcement to administratively close removal proceedings pending against his six-year-old client from Honduras.
- Evan Fontenot (‘17) learned that the letters he wrote requesting Prosecutorial Discretion and administrative closure from ICE proved persuasive, and the removal proceedings against his two teenage clients (who fled rampant gang violence in Honduras) will be administratively closed.
- Carley Faucheux (‘17), Ashley Knarr (‘16), and John Peacock (‘17) presented at the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s office to the Victim Advocate Coordinators regarding relief options and remedies for immigrant victims of crimes.
- Rome Gonsoulin (’17) acquired an employment authorization document for her 50-year-old client from Zimbabwe
- Mimi Duong (’17) acquired both Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Legal Permanent Residence (green card) for her 15-year-old Honduran client!
- Kameron Keene (‘17) and Mimi Duong (‘17) persuaded Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to exercise Prosecutorial Discretion and administratively close the removal (deportation) proceedings against two of their young clients, 15- and 17-year-old girls from El Salvador.
- Andrew Whall (’16) acquired Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for his 18-year-old client from Honduras.
- Logan Luquette (‘17), Lindsay Elliott-Smith (‘17), Kameron Keene (‘17), Andrew Whall (‘16), and Mimi Phuong (‘17) each obtained work authorization for one (or in the case of Logan – two) client(s) ranging in age from 15 to 64 and hailing from Mexico, Honduras, and Yemen.
- Lindsay Elliott-Smith (‘17) obtained Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and Legal Permanent Residence for her 16-year-old Salvadoran client!
- Logan Luquette (‘17), Lindsay Elliott-Smith (‘17), and Kameron Keene (‘17) obtained Legal Permanent Residence for their clients from Yemen and Mexico, ages (64, 40, and 21).