Immigration Litigation and Appellate Clinic
Clinic interns represent clients before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and U.S. Courts of Appeal. Interns also lead community outreach and educational presentations throughout the region in partnership with local service providers and community organizations.
Examples of intern projects include:
- Representing clients in removal proceedings before Immigration Judges, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and federal appellate courts;
- Representing clients in their applications for permanent residence, citizenship, asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, and visas for victims of domestic violence and other crimes;
- Developing educational materials and presentations for community outreach efforts;
- Providing individual legal consultations to members of the University of Idaho and Washington State University communities.
- How to Report Bias and Hate Crimes in Idaho
- Emergency Planning Guide (English)
- Emergency Planning Guide (Spanish)
- Impact of 287g Agreements on Idaho Law Enforcement Agencies
- Risks Faced by Idaho’s Cities and Counties When Detaining Residents on Civil Immigration Charges
- How Immigration Law Can Affect Your Practice
- During the 2021-22 academic year, two U of I students won asylum for a Libyan asylum seeker who first applied for asylum in 2015. Her case became mired in the government’s asylum backlog until the students successfully lobbied to set her case for an interview. The clinic submitted a brief and extensive evidence and then represented her at an interview in Seattle after which she was granted asylum.
- Almost every student in the clinic worked in some way to help address a crisis in representation for Afghan individuals who have been resettled in Idaho after evacuating Afghanistan. First, a clinic student worked with one Idaho-based Afghan family to file seven humanitarian parole applications for their family members who remained trapped in Afghanistan or who had fled to Pakistan and gotten stuck there. Another three students filed an asylum application on behalf of an Afghan national in Boise who had fled Afghanistan where his life was at risk because of his association with a western organization. Two other clinic students successfully represented an Afghan individual who sought a “Special Immigrant visa” based on his past work with American troops in Afghanistan. Clinic students conducted a know-your-rights presentation in Boise for approximately 40 Afghan asylum seekers and the same students conducted intakes in several Afghan asylum cases and prepared memos for another Boise-based non-profit to use to help them obtain asylum.
- After two students won release from detention in 2020 for a Guatemalan mother of four in time for her to be reunited with her children for the holidays, and another student argued and won her Ninth Circuit appeal in 2021, this past year the clinic won a “reasonable fear review” hearing in Immigration Court on remand from the Ninth Circuit. As a result, the applicant now can receive a hearing on a form of relief called “withholding of removal” based on her fear of persecution in Guatemala.
- In April 2022, clinic students volunteered at a naturalization workshop held at our Boise campus. The workshop was sponsored by the Clinic in collaboration with the Idaho chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Catholic Charities, the International Rescue Committee, and Familias Unidas. Clinic students worked with other volunteers to assist non-citizens with completing naturalization applications.
- As profiled in this article, immigration clinic students continued to offer consultations to non-citizen members of the Washington State University community.
- A District Court judge in the Western District of Washington granted a habeas petition filed by the U of I Immigration Clinic in partnership with Duke’s immigration clinic, ordering a bond hearing in Federal District Court—a novel remedy in that District and one for which the U of I clinic had advocated in its briefing. The client was released soon thereafter as part of a settlement agreement.
- A clinic student argued a case before the Ninth Circuit on behalf of a Guatemalan asylum seeker, and the Court granted our client’s petition for review, remanding the case to the agency for consideration of recent precedent. The clinic had raised a novel claim arguing for a right to counsel in a type of expedited removal procedure called a “reasonable fear review hearing,” and our case was consolidated for oral argument with Orozco-Lopez v. Garland, in which the Court held in a published decision that there is a right to counsel in reasonable fear review hearings
- Over the summer, two U of I clinic students (Gabriela Martinez and Brad Wanken pictured below) participating in a collaborative effort with the University of New Mexico School of Law succeeded in advocating for the release of a detained Haitian asylum seeker, who was then able to rejoin his common-law wife and newborn daughter.
- The clinic continued to offer outreach and legal consultations to area students, and conducted two presentations for WSU students concerning Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
- A team of Immigration Clinic students succeeded in advocating for the release of an asylum seeker from immigration detention in time for her to reunite with children for the holidays. The clinic is also representing the client in her petition for review to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Idaho Press covered the story in this article.
- The University of Idaho Immigration Clinic partnered with Duke’s immigration clinic and two UI Law Alumni to file a habeas petition on behalf of another detained clinic client. Read this Idaho Mountain News summary of the litigation.
- Clinic students conducted regular consultations for WSU students to assess their immigration law options.
University of Idaho’s Immigration Litigation & Appellate Clinic allows law students to provide wide-ranging legal services and education to immigrant clients and communities. In 2018, students secured the release of their client from immigration detention after two and a half years, won his case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and watched him finally receive asylum as a gay man from Ghana after fighting for protection for more than three years. The case garnered the support of the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago, IL, which submitted an amicus curiae brief on how key Ninth Circuit precedent should be applied to the evidence supporting the client’s claim.
Students in the Main Street and Immigration clinics collaborated to win protection for their juvenile client in state court to help prevent his deportation to a country where his parents had abandoned and neglected him. Other students represented a client fight his deportation in immigration court, allowing him to remain with his three U.S. citizen children who have special needs. Clinic faculty and students also partnered with a local law firm, community organizers, and the Mexican Consulate to produce an emergency planning guide for immigrant families and service providers across the state so that families could be ready with critical documents and protect their rights in the immigration system. The students won the Rosa Parks Human Rights Achievement Award for their work on the guide.
“The Immigration Litigation & Appellate Clinic has without question been the best test of the skills I’ve learned in law school so far, and an incredibly fulfilling experience that has affirmed my interest in immigration law and the challenges faced by undocumented communities.”
-3L Naomi Doraisamy