Immigration Clinic Helps Jamaican Political Activist Stay in the United States

Clinic students with client

Clinic students with client

Last month, just in time for the winter holidays, another Miami Law Immigration Clinic client won the right to remain in the United States. The client, a political activist, and community leader, was attacked in Jamaica because of his political activities. After over five years in deportation proceedings, an immigration judge granted him asylum. After winning his case, the client said, “I am grateful for the work of the Clinic lawyers and students. It’s more than words can say. They are a great team.”

Rachel Lopez, a 3L, and Heather Miles, Class of 2019, litigated the case in April 2019. Reflecting on the experience, Miles said, “With immigration issues at the center of political debate and constantly in the media, the ability to work on an asylum case through the clinic was a truly fulfilling experience. Learning that our client was granted asylum was particularly gratifying in this difficult climate. It has given me a real sense of accomplishment.”

Former clinic students, Kirsten Corneliussen, and Stephanie Rosendorf had prepared the case for a 2015 merits hearing before the client was released from detention and his case was transferred to another immigration court.

“This was one of those cases that was so strong and so well-prepared by the students involved, that even the Department of Homeland Security could not oppose a grant of asylum. I am extremely proud of the hard work of our students,” said Romy Lerner, Associate Director of the Clinic.

The Immigration Clinic is part of Miami Law’s Clinical Program in which second and third-year students represent clients and work on advocacy projects under the supervision of Clinic Director, Rebecca Sharpless, and Associate Director, Romy Lerner.