Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic Students Argue an Impact Litigation Case Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Two students in the James H. Binger Center for New Americans’ Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic (FILC) recently had the rare opportunity to argue an impact litigation case in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Mollie Clark Ahsan ’24 and Amirah Ellison ’24 shared the opening and rebuttal arguments, respectively, for a complex case involving the deportation of a local permanent resident. Working with FILC’s immigration litigation fellow Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law Seiko Shastri ’21 and FILC director Associate Clinical Professor of Law Nadia Anguiano ’17, the two students argued that the government had made two major legal errors in removing the noncitizen.

The arguments at the Eighth Circuit occurred more than eight years after the case first came to FILC. At that time, Anguiano herself was a law student. “The arc of this case is really spectacular,” she says. “Impact litigation often takes years to develop. Generations of law students worked on this case. When FILC first took the case, we knew it had the potential to help many people being charged under a statute that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down. Now it has morphed into a case that may, albeit for different reasons, similarly affect noncitizens who have been unlawfully charged with removal. 

The case is now pending a decision by the Eighth Circuit, but the FILC team has high hopes as two sister courts have already adopted the position FILC set forth.

Read more about this case in the digital edition of Minnesota Law magazine

Nadia Anguiano-Wehde, Immigration Advocacy Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor, Clinics
Nadia Anguiano ’17
Associate Clinical Professor of Law