Georgia Law Appellate Litigation Clinic students invoke Convention Against Torture in 9th Circuit oral argument

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard arguments last week in an immigration case involving the Convention against Torture – a case prepared by a team of students in the Appellate Litigation Clinic here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Georgia Law 3L Jason N. Sigalos argued on behalf of client Graciela Arellano Herrera in Case No. 19-72750, Arellano Herrera v. Barr. On account of the covid-19 pandemic, Sigalos’ argument was delivered virtually (video here), to a panel composed of Ninth Circuit Judges Margaret M. McKeown and Lawrence James Christopher VanDyke, along with U.S. District Judge Virginia Mary Kendall, sitting by designation. (Sigalos, who spoke from Georgia Law’s Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom, is pictured above at bottom right.)

Joining Sigalos on the briefs were his classmates in the Appellate Litigation Clinic (prior posts), 3L Mollie M. Fiero and John Lex Kenerly IV, who earned his J.D. earlier this year.

Together they represent appellant Arellano Herrera, the mother of seven children and grandmother of another seven, all U.S.-born citizens. The client herself has lived in this country since her parents brought her to the United States three days after her birth in Mexico.

Her appeal seeks reversal of a Board of Immigration Appeals order that she be removed from the United States. Relying on non-refoulement (non-return) obligations the United States took on when it ratified the 1984 Convention Against Torture, she argues that prior forced involvement with a drug cartel makes it unsafe for her to relocate anywhere in Mexico. She contends that if she were she to be sent back, it is more likely than not that cartel members would torture her, with the acquiescence of one or more public officials.

The Ninth Circuit panel is now deliberating.

Appointed to state’s Supreme Court: Judge Carla Wong McMillian, alumna of Georgia Law and past contributor to this blog, having posted about her Asian-American heritage

Delighted to announce the appointment to the Supreme Court of Georgia of the Honorable Carla Wong McMillian, who has served as a judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals since 2013. She is a distinguished alumna of the University of Georgia School of Law – and also, we’re proud to note, a past contributor to this blog.

She will replace another Georgia Law alum and in turn be replaced by another Georgia Law alum; respectively, just-retired Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham and Superior Court Judge Verda Colvin, who is based in Macon.

Born in Augusta, Georgia, Carla Wong McMillian earned her Georgia Law J.D. degree summa cum laude in 1998. She becomes the first Asian-American woman in the Southeast to be put on her state’s highest court; additionally, she is first Asian Pacific American state appellate judge ever to be appointed in the Southeast, and the first Asian American person to be elected to a statewide office in Georgia. Her professional service includes a term as President-Elect of the Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association (GAPABA).

She reflected on these achievements in “My family history & path to the bench,” a 2016 post at this blog, which reprinted an essay she’d written for the Georgia Asian American Times. Available in full here, the essay began:

“I am proud to be an American. I am equally as proud of my Asian American heritage.”

 

Georgia Law Professor Cade presents at Immigration Theory Workshop at University of Houston Law Center

Jason A. Cade, J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor of Law and the Director of the Community Health Law Partnership Clinic here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented on a panel, entitled “Where are We Now? Unpacking Migration’s Present,” at the inaugural interdisciplinary Immigration Theory Workshop: “Imagining Migration After Populism,” held recently at the University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas.

Expert in international migration law and policy, Oslo-based Tom Syring, gives talks at Georgia Law

Migration and the rule of law, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, was the topic du jour yesterday at the University of Georgia School of Law, thanks to guest lectures by Tom Syring, Chairman of the Human Rights Research League, based in Oslo, Norway.

As the 2020 American-Scandinavian Foundation Visiting Lecturer, Syring is an expert in international refugee and migration law and policy, and co-editor, with Boston University Law Professor Susan Akram, of Still Waiting for Tomorrow: The Law and Politics of Unresolved Refugee Crises (2014). His visit to Georgia Law was part of a 2-month lecture and teaching tour that also includes stops in U.S. locations including Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Texas.

Following his public, lunch-hour talk on “Refugees, Forced Migration, and Africa,” Syring met with students in the Refugee & Asylum Law seminar (pictured above) led by Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann.

Together, the talks set forth:

Syring ended on a high note, pointing to the promising potential represented by countries in Africa, a continent rich in resources and a young, vibrant populace.

Cosponsors of the visit, in addition to Georgia Law’s Dean Rusk International Law Center and the American-Scandinavian Foundation, included two University of Georgia units, the African Studies Institute and the School of Public & International Affairs.

Special thanks are due to all those affiliated with Georgia Law who supported Syring’s visit: Mandy Dixon, Catrina Martin, Brad Grove, Sarah Quinn, Heidi Murphy, and Laura Kagel, as well as Professors Lori Ringhand and Harlan Cohen.

Georgia Law Community HeLP Clinic students aid clients’ citizenship bid

Students in the University of Georgia School of Law Community Health Law Partnership Clinic recently succeeded in assisting 2 clients from Egypt who were seeking to become naturalized U.S. citizens.

Working this year to prepare the clients for interviews and their 2019 naturalization ceremony were 3L Amy E. Buice, above center, and 2L William D. Ortiz, above left. Also working on the case were 3L Sarah A. Mirza and Onur Yildirim (JD’18), who last year helped prepare the clients’ naturalization applications.

The students were supervised by Professor Jason A. Cade, Director of Georgia Law’s Community HeLP Clinic, which assists low-income persons with immigration, benefits, and other health-harming legal needs.

Students in Georgia Law’s Appellate Litigation Clinic win Board of Immigration Appeals case on behalf of asylum-seeker from Russia

Four students in the University of Georgia School of Law Appellate Litigation Clinic have just secured asylum relief for a Russian client, and in so doing earned hands-on experience in practicing law in today’s interconnected world.

The client, Rim Iakovlev, is a Jehovah’s Witness who had fled to the United States after a ruling by the Russian Supreme Court outlawed his religion. A U.S. immigration judge granted his petition for asylum. But the U.S. Department of Homeland Security appealed. It was at this point that the Board of Immigration Appeals, through its pro bono project, appointed Georgia Law’s Appellate Litigation Clinic to represent asylum-seeker Iakovlev. The Board is an administrative appellate agency within the Executive Office for Immigration Review, U.S. Department of Justice.

Drafting the brief in the case, under supervision by Professor Thomas V. Burch, Director of the Appellate Litigation Clinic, were four Georgia Law students: 3Ls Wade H. Barron, C. Daniel Lockaby, and Sarah A. Quattrocchi, and 2L Addison Smith. Their brief stressed consistencies in the accounts given by Iakovlev and his wife, and also refuted the DHS contention that the asylum-seeker was obliged to present a letter from his congregation attesting to his status as a Jehovah’s Witness.

Upon reading the parties’ briefs, the Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the immigration judge’s decision to grant Iakovlev’s petition for asylum. DHS chose not to appeal the Board’s decision, so that Iakovlev was released from detention last week.

Georgia Law Professor Jason Cade presents on immigration enforcement

Jason A. Cade, Associate Professor of Law here at the University of Georgia School of Law, presented last week at the annual symposium of the Emory International Law Review at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. This year’s topic symposium topic was “Continued Relevance and Challenges of the 1951 Refugee Convention on Global, Regional, and Local Levels.”

Cade, an immigration law expert who also directs Georgia Law’s Community Health Law Partnership Clinic, spoke on the consequences of enforcement policies at the southern border for asylum-seekers and other migrants. He was part of a Regional Panel that also included experts from Emory and Georgia State University.

Georgia Law Professor Cade and attorney Mary Honeychurch (JD18) coauthor immigration essay

The U visa – a visa set aside for nonimmigrant victims of certain crimes who have endured mental or physical abuse and are willing to assist law enforcement – is the subject of a new essay co-authored by scholars here at the University of Georgia School of Law.

The essay, “Restoring the Statutory Safety-Valve for Immigrant Crime Victims: Premium Processing for Interim U Visa Benefits,” appears at 113 Northwestern University Law Review Online 120 (2019). It was written by Georgia Law Professor Jason A. Cade, whose teaching and scholarship focus on immigration law, and one of his former students, Mary Honeychurch (JD’18), who is now an immigration attorney at Seyfarth Shaw LLP in Atlanta.

Here’s the abstract:

“This Essay focuses on the U visa, a critical government program that has thus far failed to live up to its significant potential. Congress enacted the U visa to aid undocumented victims of serious crime and incentivize them to assist law enforcement without fear of deportation. The reality, however, is that noncitizens eligible for U status still languish in limbo for many years while remaining vulnerable to deportation and workplace exploitation. This is in large part due to the fact that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has never devoted sufficient resources to processing these cases. As a result, the potential benefits of the U visa remain underrealized and communities are left less safe. In an era of sustained focus on enforcement and increased instability within immigrant communities, the situation becomes ever more urgent. This Essay introduces and defends a simple administrative innovation that would dramatically improve the process: a premium processing route for interim approvals and employment authorization. Although our proposal cannot resolve all the underlying problems, it is pragmatic, easily implemented, and superior to the status quo.”

The full essay is available here.

Georgia Law Professor Jason Cade publishes on sanctuaries in Northwestern Law journal, presents work at Fordham Law colloquium

This month, University of Georgia School of Law Professor Jason A. Cade published his latest article on immigration law in the Northwestern University Law Review, and also presented the article at a Fordham University School of Law conference.

The article, entitled “Sanctuaries as Equitable Delegation in an Era of Mass Immigration Enforcement,” appears at 113 Nw. U. L. Rev. 433 (2018).

Cade presented the work at Fordham Law’s 2018 Cooper Walsh Colloquium, a scholarly gathering that explored “Remodeling Sanctuary: Urban Immigration in a New Era.”

Cade teaches Immigration Law and directs the law school’s Community Health Law Partnership Clinic. His scholarship explores intersections between immigration enforcement and criminal law, the role of prosecutorial discretion in the modern immigration system, and judicial review of deportation procedures.

Here’s the abstract of his newly published article:

Opponents of—and sometimes advocates for—sanctuary policies describe them as obstructions to the operation of federal immigration law. This premise is flawed. On the better view, the sanctuary movement comports with, rather than fights against, dominant new themes in federal immigration law. A key theme—emerging both in judicial doctrine and on-the-ground practice—focuses on maintaining legitimacy by fostering adherence to equitable norms in enforcement decision-making processes. Against this backdrop, the sanctuary efforts of cities, churches, and campuses are best seen as measures necessary to inject normative (and sometimes legal) accuracy into real-world immigration enforcement decision-making. Sanctuaries can erect front-line equitable screens, promote procedural fairness, and act as last-resort circuit breakers in the administration of federal deportation law. The dynamics are messy and contested, but these efforts in the long run help ensure the vindication of equity-based legitimacy norms in immigration enforcement.

The full article is available here.

Immigration, guest worker law, IntLawGrrls blog featured in new issue of Center’s SSRN research series

The latest edition of our Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Paper Series is now available at the Legal Scholarship Network of SSRN, the Social Science Research Network.

The series is a joint project of two University of Georgia School of Law units: our Center, plus our law school’s Alexander Campbell King Law Library. Series Editor-in-Chief is Thomas Striepe, the library’s Associate Director for Research Services.

To be found in this edition, Vol. 4 No. 2 of the series:

► Abstracts of two articles by Georgia Law Professor Jason A. Cade, an expert on immigration law:

► The other two abstracts arise out of the March 2017 conference held here at Georgia Law to commemorate the 1st decade of IntLawGrrls, a still-thriving blog that Georgia Law Professor Diane Marie Amann, our Center’s Faculty Co-Director, founded in March 2007:

These and all papers in our Dean Rusk International Law Center Research Series may be found here.