Immigration Consultation Clinic
About the Consultation Clinic
Working in pairs and under the direct supervision of an attorney, all students in the Immigration Law Clinic interview and provide advice to unrepresented, low income immigrants. Priority is given to people in removal proceedings before the Tucson Immigration Court, but when time slots are available, we also advise individuals affirmatively seeking immigration benefits or seeking to determine what options may be available to them under immigration law.
A typical consultation lasts about two hours and includes a thorough intake and explanation of options. However, in a few cases each semester, two- or four-unit students follow up with additional interviews, research, and sometimes, referrals to pro bono lawyers or nonprofit agencies.
Low income immigrants often benefit tremendously by learning of their options, their chances of success, other resources available to them, and ways in which they may be able to defend themselves against deportation or obtain immigration benefits. At the same time, students gain valuable exposure to a variety of personalities, cultures, scenarios, and immigration issues. They also get the chance not only to navigate the immigration statutes and regulations, but also to develop skills and practices in interviewing, counseling, decision-making, and other areas that will serve them in whatever field of law they ultimately decide to practice.
Here are some examples of successful outcomes from the Consultation Clinic:
- The Clinic has helped people born abroad to U.S. citizen parents or grandparents identify and gather documents needed to prove their own U.S. citizenship, resulting in the issuance of U.S. passports.
- Law students helped people who were ordered removed for having missed their immigration hearings prepare sworn statements, gather documents, and file successful motions to reopen their cases based on extraordinary circumstances, such as medical emergencies.
- The Clinic has prepared and shared with unrepresented immigrants and with immigration lawyers arguments that certain offenses do not render people deportable; some of these arguments have ultimately been accepted by the Board of Immigration Appeals or the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Students have helped people prepare for interviews with immigration officials, such as a woman who succeeded in establishing that, because of abuse by her U.S. citizen husband, she qualified to immigrate based his petition to immigrate her, even though he no longer supported it.
- The Clinic has identified minors who were eligible for immigrant visas based, in part, on the fact that they were abused, abandoned, or neglected, and has referred them to the school’s Child and Family Law Clinic or to pro bono lawyers for representation in dependency hearings.
- By thoroughly and honestly evaluating people’s cases, the Clinic has sometimes prevented those with little or no chance of getting or maintaining lawful status from wasting money pursuing fruitless claims.
Consultations take place on Wednesday evenings February through April and September through November. We are closed summers and during winter break. To schedule a consultation, please contact Clinic Administrator Bertha Fresquez at 626-5232.
If you are in removal proceedings, we will need a copy of your “Notice to Appear,” (the document explaining why the government believes you may be deported) before scheduling a consultation.
All consultations with the Immigration Consultation Clinic take place at Rountree Hall at the College of Law, 1145 N. Mountain Avenue, on the southwest corner of Mountain and Helen.
Parking permits for the small lot just north of the building are available from the Clinic administrator.
Last Updated: 03/22/2011