The following is a sampling of cases in which Immigrants' Rights Clinic students successfully defended immigrants from deportation. Students in the clinic assume responsibility for all aspects of case preparation, including interviewing clients and witnesses, investigating facts, writing pleadings, developing case strategies, conducting oral argument and performing legal research.
Students in the IRC work on all aspects of deportation defense on a range of cases. Students have represented asylum seekers who fled persecution abroad; survivors of domestic violence and other crimes; longtime residents with past convictions; and undocumented migrants with longstanding ties to the United States.
The clinic assisted A, an undocumented young man who had lived in the United States for over a decade (since he was a teenager), in his application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A's DACA application was recently granted and with that grant came the right to work and remain lawfully in the United States. DACA is a form of relief for certain noncitizens who have resided in the United States since a young age and who have studied or are studying in the United States.
The clinic assisted Y, an undocumented single mother of three United States citizen children in her application to obtain permission to work lawfully in the United States. The clinic also assisted L, a young man in the same type of application. The applications were in conjunction with their respective applications for a U visa, a form of relief for non-citizens who have been the victim of a serious crime and have cooperated with law enforcement.
The clinic assisted MG, a long-term permanent resident, to successfully terminate the immigration removal proceedings that had been filed against him by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). MG faced potentially imminent deportation because of a conviction for a DUI that he had suffered over a decade earlier. MG had worked and lived in the United States lawfully for over 20 years. He lived and worked in the United States in order to provide financial assistance to his family (which included a wife and three children residing in Mexico). His youngest son suffers from serious medical ailments and his son would not have been able to obtain the necessary and frequent medical services that he required had MG not been able to continue to lawfully reside and work in the United States.
The clinic assisted S, an undocumented single mother of three United States citizen children, to obtain permission to work lawfully in the United States. S came to the United States when she was in elementary school. She was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of her long term partner (the father of her three children). S’s ex-partner had been deported the year prior after she called the police to report an incident of violence. S feared returning to Mexico because of the animosity and blame that her ex harbored towards her. S is also the primary caretaker of her lawful permanent resident mother, who suffers from chronic and life threatening end stage renal failure, which requires dialysis four times a week.
The clinic represents Z in his removal defense, which he faces due to past drug convictions, despite being a longtime lawful permanent resident. Z suffered from drug addiction for a period of time, but has since rehabilitated himself. He has been sober for years and currently lives with his four young United States Citizen children and a United States Citizen spouse.
The clinic assisted M, a lawful permanent resident ("green card" holder) from Fiji who has lived in the United States with his family for the past 21 years. M had some minor brushes with the criminal justice system as a young adult, and DHS alleged that the government could deport M based on a 1999 conviction. M’s removal case was dismissed after the clinic submitted a brief on his behalf to immigration court arguing that M’s 1999 conviction could not lead to his deportation under Ninth Circuit case law.
The clinic assisted K, a legal permanent resident of the United States, in being granted a Motion to Terminate his removal proceedings, which allows him to stay in the United States with his family. K faced deportation to Mexico due to two misdemeanor convictions for possession of controlled substances, both of which have been expunged by California state courts.
The clinic assisted J, a longtime lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder) of the United States with citizenship in Jordan, in being granted his request to keep his green card and remain in the United States with his family. J faced removal for two minor criminal convictions, one of which took place over two decades ago and the other nearly ten years ago. As a Palestinian refugee, J has made the U.S. his home and works tirelessly to provide for his wife and their U.S. citizen children.
The clinic assisted T, a longtime lawful permanent resident (“green card” holder) of the United States, originally from Taiwan, avoid deportation due to minor petty theft convictions. T has lived in the United States for nearly three decades and has raised two U.S. citizen children here. She is also a leader in her community having received numerous awards and other accolades for her work with children. After a lengthy trial before the San Francisco Immigration Court, the judge granted T’s request to allow her to keep her green card and remain in the United States indefinitely.
The clinic assisted L with submitting a U Visa, a form of legal relief for non-citizens who have been the victim of a serious crime and have cooperated with law enforcement. L is a lawful permanent resident and suffered severe domestic violence at the hands of her husband for over a decade. The U Visa is an effort to prevent L from being deported back to Mexico, away from her six United States Citizen children, ten United States Citizen grandchildren, and the community she has lived in for over forty years.
The clinic assisted O with obtaining a U Visa as the victim of severe crime in the United States. O, a man from Central America who was living in the United States unlawfully, was kidnapped, assaulted, tortured and held hostage by a criminal gang for several days on the U.S.-Mexico border. With his U Visa, he can remain in the United States with his family and eventually apply to become a U.S. permanent resident.
The clinic assisted Y with obtaining a U Visa, a form of legal relief for non-citizens who have been the victim of a serious crime and have cooperated with law enforcement. Y was the victim of severe domestic violence and was in danger of being deported back to Mexico, away from her three United States Citizen children and the community she has lived in for fifteen years.
The clinic assisted W with obtaining legal status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). A VAWA petition is a form of immigration relief that allows noncitizens married to abusive United States Citizens to leave their abusers and still maintain legal status. A male victim of spousal abuse, W was in danger of being deported to Afghanistan because his abusive wife withdrew his green card application and he was charged with being in the U.S. unlawfully.