Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic Receives Honorable Mention at AALS Annual Conference on Clinical Education for ‘Somali 92’ Case

The University of Minnesota Law School’s Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic, part of the James H. Binger Center for New Americans, received an honorable mention for the Clinical Legal Education Association’s (CLEA) Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project at the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) 2024 Conference on Clinical Legal Education in St. Louis earlier this month. The clinic, in collaboration with the University of Miami Law School’s Immigration Clinic and a coalition of advocates, represented 92 people from Somalia who were shackled and abused for two days on a failed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation flight in 2017.

These collaborative efforts included a class action lawsuit and resulted in individual representation of clients. Several individuals on the flight had their immigration cases opened and many were released from detention.

As part of the National Immigration Teachers & Scholars Workshop, the James H. Binger Center for New Americans will host a CLE discussion on May 29 at 1 p.m. about Shackled: 92 Refugees Imprisoned on ICE Air, written by University of Miami Law School Professor Rebecca Sharpless, associate dean for experiential learning and director of Miami Law’s Immigration Clinic. The book documents the story of this harrowing failed deportation, the resulting class action and individual litigation, and two men’s search for safety in the United States over three long years. Through Mr. Hassan and Mr. Janale’s firsthand accounts, the story brings to life the harsh consequences of the U.S. deportation system and how racism and anti-Blackness operate within it.

More than 700 legal educators attended the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in St. Louis, Missouri in May. The meeting’s theme, “Unfinished Arcs: Resistance & Resilience Amid Backlash,” explored how teachers, scholars, and advocates can advance justice in the face of political pushback.