Last year, 186,434 people had their cases decided by U.S. immigration courts, tribunals charged with determining whether to deport certain non-citizens from the U.S. Nearly 40 percent of them, 73,524 immigrants, stood before the court — in what the justice system considers a civil, administrative proceeding and not a criminal one — without legal representation.
In the fall of 2017, Creighton University School of Law’s new immigration and refugee clinic aims to help make an impact on those numbers. How? Not only by directly aiding immigrants and refugees in open cases in immigration court and before administrative agencies, but also by training the next generation of lawyers to dedicate themselves to one of the most pressing social justice issues in the country today.
Upper-level law students working in the Creighton Immigrant and Refugee Clinic will gain valuable experience while helping a vulnerable population through one of the legal system’s most complex branches. The clinic will focus primarily on three types of clients:
- Asylum seekers and refugees
- Unaccompanied minors
- Victims of human trafficking or other abuse
Housing, guardianship and domestic violence cases pertaining to refugees and immigrants will also be covered in partnership with the Milton R. Abrahams Civil Legal Clinic.
The new immigration and refugee clinic is led by Professor Charles “Shane” Ellison, special assistant professor of law in the Creighton Immigrant and Refugee Clinic. The clinic operates in partnership with the nonprofit organization Justice for Our Neighbors-Nebraska (JFON-NE), of which Ellison is also the legal director.
Applying for Legal Services
If you’re a Douglas County resident who falls within the federal poverty guidelines and require legal assistance on an immigration matter, you may be eligible to obtain free assistance from the Creighton Immigrant and Refugee Clinic. Please call 855.307.6730 between 9:00 and 11 a.m., or 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday to request assistance using the Nebraska Immigration Legal Assistance Hotline.