The mission of the Immigrant Rights Clinic is to work in partnership with and on behalf of immigrants in the Bay Area and nationwide, both in individual cases and in broader advocacy.
SAIR stands for Stanford Advocates for Immigrants’ Rights. SAIR formed immediately after the election, and the impetus behind the group was to do what we can as law students and with faculty and other members of the Stanford community to stand with immigrant communities and help protect their rights.
We organize students to volunteer and provide legal services to immigrants in the community. We have been doing research for the ACLU and other immigrants’ rights organizations to help support their legal challenges. We’ve also been raising awareness and holding teach-ins on campus about different immigration issues to bring people up to speed. All clinic students work on two projects.
- One is an individual deportation case, where students represent somebody who is in deportation proceedings in San Francisco immigration court. That includes asylum seekers, people with past convictions, people who have been here for a long time who are undocumented. We represent those individuals at the immigration court, at the Board of Immigration Appeals, at the Ninth Circuit, and the Supreme Court.
- The second part of what we do is students work on advocacy projects. So that’s litigation and other kinds of advocacy to advance the rights of immigrants. That can be prose materials, know your rights materials, local advocacy, federal or state advocacy, administrative work, and impact litigation, and litigation in the courts of appeals.
The most rewarding thing from immigration pro bono is having people feel they connect with you because they know that you are a part of their community. And it gives me that sort of continued sense of obligation to keep coming back to this work.
Having that kind of personal connection with the pro bono work allows me to feel a little bit more in touch with my community and allows me to reinforce that kind of principle in SAIR. It has been truly amazing to see that student energy and enthusiasm and just determination. It is resulted in more pro bono work, more research memos that are extremely important, more support for community activism on so many levels in the Bay Area. It’s been really amazing.