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Immigrants' Rights Clinic


  • Students enrolled in the IRC work in collaboration with immigrants’ rights organizations on specific advocacy projects. Students do legislative or local advocacy, regulatory work, public education, grassroots mobilization, and/or impact litigation. The listing below highlights a handful of recent student IRC advocacy projects.

  • The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Stanford Law School and the Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (NCCIJ) released a new report on November 6, 2014 that analyzes, for the first time, the effect of attorney representation on deportation cases before the San Francisco Immigration Court. 

  • On November 10, 2014 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Almanza-Arenas v. Holder in favor a of a noncitizen fighting his deportation.

  • Nikki Marquez ('15), Keny Zurita ('15) and Lauren Tsuji ('14) collaborated with Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, California to develop a pro se "Reinstatement of Removal" manual in English and in Spanish to help pro se immigrants in Northern California detention centers navigate the complex and nuanced reinstatement of removal process. 

  • On October 28, 2013, the Immigrants' Rights Clinic argued before the Inter-American Human Rights Clinic that current immigration prosecutorial discretion policies violate international human rights standards.

  • In April 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision affirming a district court's grant of preliminary injunction requiring that immigrants detained for prolonged periods of time be given bond hearings. This case is part of a close to decade long effort by the Immigrants' Rights Clinic, on behalf of various clients, to challenge the federal government's prolonged detention policies.

  • Immigrants’ Rights Clinic students Alan Drosdick (’13), Aimee Krause (’13), and Denise Tsai (’13) investigated conditions at a major immigration detention facility in collaboration with several community groups.  Alan, Aimee, and Denise visited the facility, interviewed detainees, and spoke with advocates who regularly visit the facility. 

  • Nayna Gupta (’13) and Julian Simcock (’13) worked on behalf of Silicon Valley De-Bug, a nonprofit community organization in San Jose, to develop know-your-rights materials for immigrant parents in the Bay Area.  These materials were designed to explain the differences between the immigration and juvenile delinquency systems to parents whose children are facing charges in both systems. 

  • Ben Good (’13) and Jeff Pierce (’13) collaborated with a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the plight of immigrant children to investigate the United States’ treatment of unaccompanied immigrant children.  In order to complete their analysis, Ben and Jeff engaged in complex legal research and conducted numerous extensive interviews with child immigration lawyers, activists, researchers, and social workers. 

  • Building on the work of Melinda Koster (’12), Shira Levine (’12), and Sue Wang (’12) Immigrants’ Rights Clinic students, Marisa Diaz (‘13) and Ying Wang (‘13) recently completed a significant advocacy project in collaboration with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and Silicon Valley De-Bug to develop a presentation for the San Mateo County Commission on the Status of Women on the issue of probation officers reporting youth to immigration authorities. 

  • The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic filed an amicus brief in the en banc case of Young v. Holder.  This brief was based on arguments and model briefing developed by Katie Austin (‘13), Becca Kline (‘13), and Sue Wang (‘12). 

  • Katie Austin (‘13), Becca Kline (‘13), and Sue Wang (‘12) collaborated with the Immigrant Defense Project to write a practice advisory for immigration practitioners around the country.  The practice advisory lays out potential arguments for establishing the eligibility of immigrants applying for cancellation of removal.

  • Oliver Kroll (‘13) and Chris Skelton (‘13) collaborated with Centro Legal de la Raza in Oakland, California to develop a pro se U Visa manual in English and Spanish to help pro se immigrants in Northern California detention centers apply for U Visas. A U Visa is a generous form of legal relief for non-citizens who have been victims of serious crimes in the United States and have cooperated with law enforcement. The manual is the first of its kind in the country.

  • Matt Cagle ('12), Jane Farrington ('12), Paco Torres ('11), and Hannah Lommers-Johnson ('12) advocated on behalf of immigrants across the country who are swept up by the government's mandatory detention scheme.

  • The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic won an important victory in the Ninth Circuit on behalf of Amadou Diouf, an immigrant subjected to prolonged detention while trying to reopen his immigration case.  Mr. Diouf is a noncitizen from Senegal who entered the U.S. on a student visa.  He subsequently married a U.S. citizen, but his immigration lawyer failed to file proper papers in immigration court, resulting in an order of deportation against Mr. Diouf.  Mr. Diouf subsequently filed a motion to reopen his immigration case, arguing ineffective assistance of counsel. 

  • Professor Jayashri Srikantiah and the Stanford Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic (Stanford IRC), along with attorneys and law professors at Western State University College of Law and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) released a report synthesizing information obtained from the never-before-released U.S. government documents and data about stipulated removal, a program by which the U.S. government deports immigrants without a hearing before a judge. Many of the government records reveal that the stipulated removal program has been implemented across the U.S. in a way that is likely to infringe immigrants' due process rights. 

  • Stanford Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic issued a report on behalf of Detention Watch Network calling on the Obama administration to reduce the unprecedented rate of immigration detention by adopting cost-effective, community-based alternatives that have already been implemented internationally and domestically. 

  • On April 20, 2009, the Asian Law Caucus and Immigrants’ Rights Clinic issued a 56 page report making key recommendations geared towards ending intrusive profiling practices targeting U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.  

  • The Immigrants’ Rights Clinic submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the American Immigration Lawyers Association to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in opposition to the government’s petition for rehearing en banc in Kawashima v. Mukasey, 530 F.3d 1111 (9th Cir. 2008).

  • Katrina Eiland (’10), Michelle Parris (’10), Tina Cheng (’10) and Brian Goldman (’10) worked with Congregations Organizing for Renewal (COR), a community-based organization in Hayward, California, to investigate concerns about local law enforcement agents enforcing federal immigration laws, and to provide COR with recommendations for potential legislative solutions.

  • Matthew Mao (’10) and Louise Nutt (’10) worked with Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, an agency that serves survivors of domestic violence in Santa Clara County, on a project to enhance battered immigrants’ access to legal representation in the South Bay. 

  • On November 12, 2008, the Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, together with the National Immigration Law Center, the ACLU of Southern California and the National Lawyers Guild of San Francisco filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to gain access to agency records about stipulated removal from DHS and its sub-agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • IRC students Alison Sylvester ('09) and Julia Weiland ('09) published an op-ed in the San Francisco Daily Journal entitled "Unlawful Immigration Raids Should Trouble All Americans."

  • The IRC just issued a white paper entitled, "Limited English Proficient Parents and the Juvenile Justice System: A White Paper on Language Access in San Mateo County, California." Prepared on behalf of IRC client Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE), the white paper joins a small but growing national and state-wide conversation on the ability of Limited English Proficient (LEP) parents with youth in the juvenile justice system to effectively communicate with probation departments about their children's cases. 

  • Yulia Garteiser ('05) and Nick Jabbour ('05) developed a "know-your-rights" brochure in collaboration with Bay Area Legal Aid in San Jose which explained the California's Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI). 

  • In January 2008, the IRC completed a major project for its client, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC). Clinic students Ling Lew ('09), Mindy Jeng ('09), Laura Hurtado ('09) and Eunice Cho ('09) worked with the ILRC developing materials to protect immigrants at risk of apprehension during Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids on their homes.

  • Sonya Sanchez ('06), Susan Park ('06), Gloria Borges ('07), and Aravinda Seshadri ('06) developed and launched a VAWA pro bono project in collaboration with a local domestic violence shelter, NextDoor Solutions. 

  • Nicole Janisiewicz ('06) and Adam Anderson ('06) worked with the Bay Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition (BAIRC) to help develop BAIRC's organizing goals as part of its first annual meeting. 

  • Chris Walker ('06) and Shani Moore ('07) worked with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project to help develop a toolkit for legal observers as part of the ACLU's Vigilante Watch project. 

  • In January 2008, the IRC, along with co-counsel American Civil Liberties Union, presented arguments in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of two immigrant men held indefinitely in immigration detention pending resolution of their deportation cases.