Center for Social Justice Initiatives

The Center for Social Justice (CSJ) and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) released a report, Discharge, Deportation, and Dangerous Journeys: A Study on the Practice of Medical Repatriation, documenting an alarming number of cases in which U.S. hospitals have forcibly repatriated vulnerable undocumented patients, who are ineligible for public insurance as a result of their immigration status, in an effort to cut costs.


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Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic Cases

Conglolese Torture Victim Receives Asylum

Our client, a man from Congo, was arrested twice and tortured while imprisoned in his home country for speaking out against the government. Our client sought asylum in the U.S. for fear that if he were to return to Congo he would be imprisoned, tortured and likely killed.  In February 2009, the immigration judge issued a decision granting asylum to our client.  CSJ students represented the client during a nine-hour hearing in October 2008 and submitted a post-hearing brief to the judge on his behalf.  Despite a 17 page well-reasoned decision by the immigration judge, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filed a notice of appeal.  After further consideration, however, DHS acknowledged the weight of the evidence submitted by the CSJ and withdrew the appeal in May 2009.

Domestic Violence Victim and Her Children Granted Asylum

A client from Trinidad, suffered horrible domestic violence for more than a decade by her common law husband in a nation that fails to protect victims of domestic violence.  Under the supervision of Professor Lonegan, IWR Clinic students prepared and represented the client at her interview for asylum.  In May 2009, our client and her two young sons were granted asylum. 

Child with Cerebal Palsy and Mother Allowed to Remain in U.S.

Our client, a single mother from Uruguay,  has a 15 year-old U.S. born son who is completely disabled by cerebral palsy and wholly dependent on his mother for his daily care. Because of our client’s undocumented status in this country, she lived in fear of being deported. If deported, her son, although a U.S. citizen, would have had to accompany her to Uruguay where there is limited care for people with cerebral palsy. For nearly six years, the CSJ has been trying to seek relief for our client in the form of cancellation of removal.  However, in order to qualify for cancellation of removal, the Immigrant Workers’ Clinic had to first convince the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to put our client in removal proceedings. In the Fall 2008 semester DHS placed her in removal proceedings and in May 2009, the immigration judge granted cancellation of removal. She is now a lawful permanent resident of the United States and can take care of her son without the constant fear of being deported. 

Asylum Granted for Pakistani Client Based on Weight of Evidence Alone

Our client an undocumented immigrant from Pakistan and recent widow and mother of three U.S citizen children was seeking cancellation of removal.  Immigrant Worker Rights’ Clinic students obtained education records and materials showing that one of our client’s children was learning disabled and would not receive the educational services he needs in Pakistan.  They further interviewed various family members and learned that if our client and her children were sent to Pakistan, they would have to live with an uncle who had previously mistreated other family members. The students submitted detailed briefs in support of our client’s petition. In 2009, the judge was so impressed with the quality of the case’s preparation that she granted the cancellation of removal on the strength of the submissions without holding a hearing.

Gambian Democrat Granted Asylum

The Immigration and Human Rights Clinic obtained affirmative asylum for a Gambian high profile member of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP)  who suffered extensive political oppression and abuse at the hands of the Gambian government.