During the summer, the Immigration Clinic has been hard at work assisting noncitizens from across Hampton Roads on a variety of immigration matters.
Thanks to the diligent work of Spring 2022 students and the Clinic’s summer interns, the Clinic completed an astounding 19 submissions to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. These submissions included applications for asylum, motions for administrative closure, applications for U visas for victims of serious crimes, applications for lawful permanent residency for Afghans who assisted the U.S. Government, and petitions for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS).
In addition to preparing all the submissions, the Clinic also represented clients in 6 interviews for 10 clients before the Department of Homeland Security, including multiple asylum interviews and the Clinic’s first interviews for the removal of conditions on lawful permanent residency and naturalization.
The Clinic also marked an important win this summer: its first approved application for citizenship. Ms. L came to the Clinic seeking assistance with her citizenship application early in the Fall 2021 semester. Zee Huff, J.D. ’22, worked with Immigration Clinic Director Stacy Kern-Scheerer to prepare Ms. L’s citizenship application. Her application was approved after her interview this summer, and Ms. L took her oath of citizenship at a ceremony in Norfolk in August.
Although most of the Clinic’s time was devoted to casework and client services, Clinic faculty also devoted time to other projects. Most notably, in June, Professor Kern-Scheerer was an invited lecturer at the International Law Institute’s Workshop on Legislative Drafting, held in Washington, D.C. In her session, Professor Kern-Scheerer taught legislative professionals from Kenya and Singapore. Later in June, she represented the Immigration Clinic as a presenter at Commonwealth Catholic Charities’ World Refugee Day event.
“I am proud and amazed at how much we have been able to accomplish this summer. So much of our productivity and success is due to the massive amount of good work done by the Clinic students in the spring 2022 semester, the commitment of our summer interns, the dedication of our community volunteers and partners, and the unfailing expertise and energy of Nicole,” said Professor Kern-Scheerer. “Serving our clients in the Hampton Roads community is a true team effort in the Immigration Clinic.”
Looking ahead to the fall, the Immigration Clinic will continue at an incredible pace, hard at work on a variety of immigration matters, including naturalization, asylum, removal of conditions on lawful permanent residency for survivors of abuse, and adjustment of status to lawful permanent residency. The Clinic also plans to participate in several outreach and education events, including a Citizenship Day event in September.