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FALL 2010UH IMMIGRATION CLINICU N I V E R S I T Y of H O U S T O NLaw CenterImmigration Clinic Director’s Note—This past summer and fall 2010 have been exciting timesfor the clinic! I am happy to report we have been seeing the tangible results of the Carachuri decision in the form of more and morepeople who are being helped by the Court’s decision and now areable to apply for cancellation of removal. In one recent case, wehelped a detainee in Livingston, Texas by getting an administrative order of deportation rescinded because he was no longer considered an aggravated felon underCarachuri.We also took on a case this semester involving the deportation of a U.S. citizen. A team of four students met with the clientand worked on filing the administrative tort claim as a prerequisiteto possible federal litigation. We also participated in several outreaches and projects, including working on naturalizations, servingon panels discussing the latest developments in immigration andcriminal law, for example, Padilla v. Kentucky, addressing issuesof mental health and competency in the immigration court system,and working with the ACLU on racial profiling.I hope you enjoy reading about some of the great work thestudents have been doing in the immigration clinic!IN THIS ISSUEDirector’s Note- ByGeoffrey A. HoffmanBIA and Other CasesOutreachCrime VictimSuccess StoriesSummer Clinic Deportation Defense Team Aids Detained JuvenileJoseph A. Vail Summer Fellow and Attorney Sandra Collison and Professor Hoffman represented an unaccompanied minor detained teenage boy who was aging out of eligibility ofreceiving a dependency order (a prerequisite for special immigrant juvenile status) due to histurning 18 in a few days. The client had been physically abused while in detention andalso suffered from a psychological disorder. He was receiving treatment at the facility wherehe was currently housed, but was in danger of being ejected from the program once heturned 18. Attorney Collison filed a Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship and was able tohave the order signed by the family court quickly. The same day Professor Hoffman filed theform I-360 and his SIJ status was approved within a few weeks. The client is now receivingpsychological treatment, and eligible for permanent resident status, due to the quick actiontaken by the summer deportation defense team at the UH immigration clinic.1

Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and Other CasesClinic Student Wins Remand in the BIAAndrea BoularesClinic II student Andrea Boulares (3L) and Professor Geoffrey Hoffman handledthe appeal of an Immigration Judge’s (IJ’s) denial of non-LPR cancellation by a detained individual who was unrepresented. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)decided to remand the case back to the IJ because the IJ did not develop therecord to elicit sufficient information from the pro se respondent. The respondenttestified that the wife had been convicted of child abuse. In the event that the childabuse related to the couple’s children, then the respondent should have beenadvised he was eligible to apply for VAWA cancellation under INA § 240A(b)(2),and would not be subject to the more stringent requirements for non-LPRcancellation.The important difference is that for “special rule” VAWA cancellation the IJ can consider the hardship tothe respondent himself. INA § 240A(b)(2)(A)(v). Moreover, there is no requirement that heshow exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. Finally, the IJ did not inform respondent of his claim forvoluntary departure, either prehearing or at the conclusion of proceedings, again in violation of theregulation and the doctrine of apparent eligibility. These errors deprived him of his right to a full and fairhearing. This case was featured in the ImmigrationProf Blog, available at nt affairs/.Clinic Wins BIA Appeal for Transgender DetaineeAn Immigration Clinic client was stabbed and his friend murdered in El Salvadorbased on the fact that they were effeminate gay males. Once in the U.S., shebecame a transgender female. The case before the Immigration Court was handledby students Lisa Stewart, Ben Hamilton and Cheryl Lovelady; the supervisingattorney was Professor Janet Beck.Although the client was not eligible for asylum, the Immigration Judge granted herwithholding of removal which meant that she could stay and work in the U.S. TheGovernment appealed the Immigration Judge’s decision. Ms. Lovelady, under thesupervision of Professor Beck filed a Response Brief and the Board of ImmigrationAppeals dismissed the Government’s appeal. The client had been detained for overa year after having been picked up for a traffic violation.Cheryl LoveladyClinic Students Represent Special Immigrant Juvenile and Win PR StatusClinic student Houda Jarrah (LLM) under the supervision of ProfessorGeoffrey Hoffman represented a 15 year old boy from El Salvador who wasfound by the family court to be abused and neglected by his father. After priorclinic students with Professor Hoffman obtained special immigrant juvenilestatus for the boy, Student Houda Jarrah represented him at the ImmigrationCourt and he was granted his permanent residency.The boy, now a permanent resident (PR), is attending high school, and hopesto become a policeman. The government did not appeal the grant.Houda Jarrah2

OUTREACHClinic Special Response Team Advises Mentally Ill DetaineeClinic I students Nathaniel Martinez and Andrea Penedo drove up to the IAHAdult Detention facility, in Livingston, Texas, with Professor Geoffrey Hoffman toevaluate and advise a detainee who had been referred to the clinic exhibiting severe mental health problems. The client was confused and nervous and had obvious difficulties telling his story and recounting abuse by government forces in Guatemala. The detainee showed scars from cuts on his arm by a machete.The students and Professor Hoffman immediately filed a Freedom of InformationAct request and obtained his court records. The students then communicated withpro bono counsel for the client and provided their report, assessing the case andproviding key facts about the detainees criminal and family history.Nathaniel MartinezCRIME VICTIM SUCCESS STORIESU Visa Certification Granted for Clinic ClientLLM student Bruna Barros de Sousa Frota was able to obtain a U visacertification from the Harris County District Attorney’s office under thesupervision of Professor Dalia Castillo Granados. The client was assaultedduring a domestic dispute with a former business partner.Bruna Barros deSousa FrotaAfter attempting to save her sister from being strangled by their businesspartner, our client suffered injuries to her face. Even though the crimeoccurred several years ago, this certification will allow our client to apply forthe U visa. Great job by Professor Granados and Bruna!U Visa Approved for Client Who Suffered from Domestic ViolenceA clinic client (“Alma”) is an eighteen-year-old woman from Mexico. She and herfamily came to the United States several years ago. Alma’s father, an alcoholic,beat her severely one night after coming home intoxicated and mistaking her forher mother. The police were called and her father was prosecuted. After almostcompleting her U visa application, Alma disappeared and the case was put on holdat the Immigration Clinic.Almost a year later, a local shelter contacted the Clinic about Alma. She had beenrescued after months of being kidnapped by her boyfriend. The Clinic was able toMakiko Yamasakifinish her U visa application and she was approved. Because of her age, hermother and sister also benefitted and obtained relief. Daniel Vargas, Dinah Chung,and Makiko Yamasaki were students who worked on the U visa application under the supervision offormer Professor Diana Velardo.3

CRIME VICTIM SUCCESS STORIES CONTINUEDU Visa Certification Obtained by Clinic in Case of Sexual AssaultAn Immigration Clinic client, the mother of a 3-year old, came upon a man who wassexually assaulting her daughter. Clinic student Veronica Garza (2L), under thesupervision of Professor Janet Beck, successfully won certification by the HarrisCounty District Attorney’s office based on the crime and the fact that the motheraided law enforcement in obtaining a criminal conviction against the perpetrator.Next semester, the clinic will be applying for a U visa for the mother so that shemay remain in the United States.Veronica GarzaDeferred Action Granted under Violence Against Women’s ActA clinic client (“Ana”-name changed to protect identity) was avictim of domestic violence. When Ana was nineteen she mether future husband in her hometown. He was a PermanentResident of the United States and would travel frequently toher country to visit. They dated for years until he eventuallyconvinced her to come to the United States so that theycould live together. They were married just a few monthslater.After the marriage, the relationship turned abusive. He wouldmake belittling comments daily, physically and sexually assaulted her, and controlled where she could go and who shecould talk to. Eventually, the abuse became so severe, Analeft her home. She found shelter and counseling and became a client of the Immigration Clinic. Ana nowhas deferred action under the Violence Against Women’s Act and will soon become a Permanent Resident. The student who filed her VAWA application was Benjamin Hamilton under the supervision of former Professor Diana Velardo. In fall 2010 semester student Cheryl Lovelady filed her employment authorization application under the supervision of Professor Dalia Castillo Granados.U Visa Approved for Woman Victimized by Now Deported HusbandA clinic client (“Sara” – name changed to protect client privacy)was victimized by her husband for over 15 years. The physicalviolence she endured throughout this time included punching,pushing, hitting, and an attempted strangulation. She alsoendured threats to her life, her husband stealing the family’smoney for alcohol, threats to take away her children, blamingher for a miscarriage, controlling her actions, isolating her fromfamily and friends, and calling her insulting and degradingnames.The police were called on three separate occasions to herhome for assaulting her. She lived in a state of fear until hewas removed from the United States for these crimes. Afterapplying for the U visa, Sara has obtained this relief and can now provide for her family. The student whoworked on this case was Heather Hunt under the supervision of former Professor Diana Velardo.4

CRIME VICTIM SUCCESS STORIES CONTINUEDAsylum Granted by Immigration Judge based on Family AbuseA woman and her two children who had been the victimsof horrible abuse by a man who tracked them down everytime they tried to escape, were granted asylum by theImmigration Judge based on the representation bystudents Whitney Larkin, James Suerken, KarinaGonzalez, Liza Evans and Nicole Eilan under thesupervision of Professor Janet Beck and former ClinicProfessor Anne Chandler.The son was born deaf in one ear because of the physicalabuse his mother endured while she was pregnant. Theabuse against the woman had gone on for 20 years.Finally, the woman and her children found refuge in theU.S. after the man, holding a gun in his hand, threatened to kill them. The Immigration Judge granted allthree asylum.U Visa Approved For Client Who Suffered Domestic ViolenceA clinic client (“Lisa”-name changed) was married and had two childrenin Mexico. After her divorce, she gained custody of her two daughters buther ex-husband kidnapped them and to this day has been unable to findthem. After divorcing, Lisa began dating a man who convinced her totravel to the United States to work and save money in order to find herchildren.Lisa’s partner began to grow abusive towards her and one day evenraped her. After an especially violent incident, Lisa called the police whoarrested her partner and she was able to gain a protective order. Lisawas granted a U visa and continues her search for her daughters. Thestudent who worked on this case was Magda Gonzalez under the supervision of former Professor Diana Velardo.FALL 2010 IMMIGRATION CLINIC PICTURE (SHOWN ON PAGE 1)(Front row from left) Director Geoffrey Hoffman, Professor Janet Beck, Charles Walters, Felicia Coffman, Cheryl Lovelady, Angelina Emerson, Professor Daliah Castillo-Granados, Nathaniel Martinez(Back row from left) Benjamin Hamilton, Leesa Everitt, Andrea Penedo, Catharine Yen, Bruna Barros de Sousa F.,Veronica Garza(Not Pictured) Andrea BoularesUH Law Center- Immigration Clinic, 100 Law Center TUII Room 56, Houston, Texas 77204-6060(713) 743– 2094 www.law.uh.edu/clinic/5

advised he was eligible to apply for VAWA cancellation under INA § 240A(b)(2), and would not be subject to the more stringent requirements for non-LPR cancellation. The important difference is that for "special rule" VAWA cancellation the IJ can consider the hardship to the respondent himself. INA § 240A(b)(2)(A)(v).

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