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Immigration Clinic students honored with Human Rights Award after string of recent success

Five students hold an award and pose for a photo with a man

Anne Lanier, Carter Sayers, Victoria Heyer, Whitney Moore, and Natalie Awad accept the Human Rights Award from the Atlas Foundation on behalf of current and past clinicians at the 15th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner: Human Rights and Dialogue in Baton Rouge.

The LSU Immigration Law Clinic and its students were recognized for their work representing immigrants and non-citizens in their legal proceedings.

On Nov. 6, the Atlas Foundation held its 15th Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner: Human Rights and Dialogue. At the event, the Foundation recognized the LSU Immigration Law Clinic for its work promoting and preserving the human rights of vulnerable and persecuted people by giving it the Human Rights Award.

Clinic students Anne Lanier, Carter Sayers, Victoria Heyer, Whitney Moore and Natalie Awad accepted the award on behalf of current and past clinicians, and Lanier delivered the acceptance speech.

“ It is recognition like this that I hope underscores to the students the great import of the work they do in the Clinic, and encourages them to carry forward into their professional lives the skills, lessons and values they learn from their clients,” said Lauren Aronson, LSU Law professor and director of the Immigration Law Clinic.

This award follows a string of successful immigration cases that were represented by Clinic students.

In September, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) granted legal permanent residence status to a family of four former asylees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who were represented by third-year student Awad.

Awad also convinced the USCIS to grant Special Immigrant Juvenile Status to a 17-year-old from Honduras after the agency claimed his application was insufficient. She succeeded not by providing additional evidence, but by effectively persuading the adjudicator that, in fact, the evidence previously submitted demonstrated eligibility and nothing more was required.

On Oct. 16, the Immigration Clinic learned that the New Orleans Asylum Office granted asylum to a 35-year-old Turkish client represented by third-year students Sayers and Lanier. According to Aronson, it was a complicated case in which Sayers successfully argued his client was not subject to a mandatory bar to asylum.