The Detainee Rights Clinic is part of the Center for New Americans and will provide students multifaceted opportunities to represent non-citizens facing removal from the United States who are detained at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) facilities in Minnesota.
Students will learn substantive immigration law through the seminar component, with a particular focus on removal defense and immigration detention. Due to the intertwining of criminal and immigration law, or “crimmigration,” students will gain knowledge of Minnesota criminal law and criminal procedure. Students will learn about administrative legal remedies and relief that are available to those facing removal as well as the procedures and mechanisms in place to decide whether a person can remain in the United States.
Client counseling, interviewing and investigative skills will be practiced frequently and honed over the course of two semesters. Students will learn how to discover relevant information for a case, procure documentary evidence and conduct effective interviews- all for clients being detained in county jails. Students will have considerable opportunities to work on writing skills such as drafting motions, memos, affidavits and briefs.
In the first semester, students will conduct intake interviews, work on administrative appeals, and represent clients in bond hearings before the Bloomington Immigration Court. During the second semester, students will represent clients in a full “merits” case which is an administrative hearing resembling a mini-trial. Student teams will be expected to take charge on their cases, which will require gathering facts, developing a case strategy, developing a narrative, and making key judgment calls. While there will be abundant supervision by the Detainee Rights Clinic faculty members, student initiative and judgment will be expected.
Not only will student teams represent clients at every stage of litigation, from intake to appeal, but will also have many opportunities to work on outreach and advocacy efforts with Center for New American partners on issues that impact detainees, such as access to counsel, pro se representation, conditions of confinement, and mental health competency.
Prerequisites: None, but prefer students to have taken or will be concurrently taking Evidence and Immigration law.