Category: Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Clinic

2020 Newsletter now available

Want to get the latest news from the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program? Check out our latest newsletter here. In this newsletter, we have updates on policy advocacy and litigation efforts, student and staff achievements, case victories, and more. If you would like to sign up to receive our newsletter via email, you can sign…
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Detained During COVID-19

This post was written by summer intern Antonella Portugal. Antonella is a rising senior at Brown University with a double concentration in Political Science and Public Policy. While much of the country has resumed business as usual, COVID-19 cases keep rising. The conditions in immigration detention centers have been criticized by advocates and government officials alike…
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Immigration representation during a pandemic

While many businesses and institutions across the country have temporarily closed due to COVID-19, students, staff, and attorneys at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) have continued to work with clients throughout the pandemic. Since all work has moved remote, HIRC has had to adapt to new restrictions and rules in order to…
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HIRC fights for release of detainees

As COVID-19 continues to spread, more and more people are feeling the impacts of this pandemic. Detainees face particularly grave health risks and HIRC is working tirelessly to advocate for the release of all immigrants in detention. Recently, HIRC attorneys and students submitted a number of habeas petitions on behalf of clients who are currently…
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HIRC students win deportation relief for East African man

Though Massachusetts is far from the Southern border, many immigrants are still detained across the state. Until recently, one of those detainees was John*, a man who was tortured in his home country in East Africa. John ended up in detention because certain criminal convictions triggered the deportation process and eventually led his case to…
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Antonio’s story: Finding hope and safety in the U.S.

People sometimes ask what motivates HIRC student advocates to work on immigration cases during our busy law school semesters. The answer is simple: our clients. It is impossible to have a bad day after spending time with the asylum-seekers we represent at HIRC. No one embodies this more than Antonio*, a young man who fled…
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Putting clinical education into action at HIRC

Students who work at HIRC come to the Clinic with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise. For some students, it may be their first time working directly with clients, while for others it might be their first time engaging with immigration law or appearing in court. For Krista Oehlke ’20, that day came in June…
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HIRC wins case for Guatemalan family

On May 9th, Temporary Clinical Instructor Nate MacKenzie and clinical students Nora Picasso Uvalle LLM ’19 and Carolina Perez Feuerstein arrived at the Boston Immigration Court with their client and her family. They had submitted a massive, 650 page file that detailed how Isabel* and her children had faced severe persecution at the hands of…
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Recent case victories from HIRC at GBLS

Since the beginning, HIRC has partnered with Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), the largest provider of free legal services in Massachusetts. GBLS is also the site of the HIRC at GBLS side of the Clinic. Here are just a few of the many victories won by HIRC at GBLS over the past year: HIRC at…
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From one immigrant to another, raising awareness through Know Your Rights trainings

When my clinical instructor, Sabi Ardalan, told me about an opportunity to present at a workshop at UMass Boston (UMB) on the implications of the recent executive orders, I immediately signed up. Remembering that sense of hopelessness I felt as a non-citizen, I thought that empowering immigrants with knowledge of the executive orders and their rights was one of the best ways I could contribute.