Going to Jail

This year, I chose to do the Immigrant Rights Clinic (IRC) at BU Law. After my work at the Florida Immigrant Coalition this past summer, the IRC seemed like a good way to follow up on what I had learned and to further my lawyering skills. For the majority of the clinic this semester, I have been working with my partner on our Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) case.  We just received our asylum case a few weeks ago which will likely take us to the end of the spring to complete.

As part of the clinic, my classmates and I went to a detention center at the Plymouth County Correctional Facility. We were led by an employee from the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project in Boston. The PAIR project is a leading provider of pro bono immigration legal services to asylum-seekers and immigrants unjustly detained in Massachusetts.

During the jail visit, I was able to meet with one potential client for PAIR and speak to him about his experiences in the United States. This was my first time being in a jail or detention center and it was a very humbling experience to have someone look at me for help and assistance. It reminded me how many people there are that need legal assistance but don’t have the financial means to be properly represented. Doing work for the IRC this semester has consistently reminded me how important pro-bono work is and how far removed certain people are from access to justice.

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