IMMIGRATION LAW AND LITIGATION CLINIC (2 credit in the fall, 2 credit in the spring) (PBL104)
Professor Lenni Benson
In this project based course students will be trained to screen and represent juveniles before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (the administrative immigration court). The New York immigration court has a special docket where only children’s cases are adjudicated. These children may secure counsel but no free counsel is provided at government expense. This project will require students to master the art of interviewing juveniles and/or their custodians quickly at the court pro bono rooms. Students will be given training in working with translators and juveniles. Working with mentor adjunct faculty, the students will make an assessment of the juvenile’s eligibility for potential relief from removal (deportation). Students will educate juveniles who wish to continue pro se on aspects of the immigration court procedure and strategy. If we identify juveniles who may be eligible for relief, students will prepare detailed summaries of the basic eligibility issues and then work to recruit pro bono counsel through the Justice Action Center’s Safe Passage Project. Students will observe court proceedings and participate in a court watch database. Students may also be required to attend and/or observe family court proceedings concerning guardianships for juveniles. Students will draft research memoranda and sample briefs in support of special immigrant juvenile petitions and or guardianship proceedings. There will be substantial coordination with other non-profit organizations.
The course is for four credits, two for each semester. Credits are pass/fail. Students must be available to attend the Juvenile Immigration Docket once a month on Thursday mornings from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additional class meetings and trainings will use free Thursdays mornings at times to be set with the instructors.
Recommended prerequisite: Immigration and Nationality Law.