This summer was a busy one at the William & Mary Law School Immigration Clinic. The Clinic received approvals for fifteen clients to be granted work authorization in the United States. The clients granted work authorization are all asylum seekers with applications pending before the Immigration Court or the Department of Homeland Security. The clients include trans women from Central America, single mothers who survived domestic and sexual violence, and two unaccompanied minors from Central America.
“Work authorization is a huge step for all of our clients,” said Nicole Alanko, the Immigration Clinic’s Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow. “While their cases are pending, clients are able to work to support themselves and their families. These approvals make such an immediate, tangible difference in their lives.”
Asylum seekers may apply for work authorization when their asylum case has been pending before the Immigration Court or the Department of Homeland Security for one year, or for six months if they are a member of community groups Casa de Maryland (CASA) or the Asylum Seekers’ Advocacy Project (ASAP). The Trump Administration instituted stricter rules on eligibility for work authorization for asylum seekers, but CASA and ASAP members are excluded from these stricter rules by an injunction in the case of Casa de Maryland v. Mayorkas.