Humbled and grateful: A year-end message
We embrace this holiday season, humbled, and full of gratitude, to you for supporting us. 2020 has been a challenging year. The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with changes from the current administration affected many immigration programs and the lives of countless immigrants who rely on them.
The promise of a new administration is a positive step as we usher in a new year, but the challenges are far from over. Our work must continue to ensure the dignity and protection of rights for all seeking equal rights and guidance today and the many tomorrows to come.
Through all the uncertainty, CLINIC accomplished a great many things thanks to our supporters.
- CLINIC’s Advocacy staff played a key role in defending Liberian immigrants by working to secure extensions of the wind down period of Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberia and a groundbreaking successful implementation of Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness.
- CLINIC’s Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project celebrated tremendous victories this summer at the Board of Immigration Appeals and in the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. Despite many challenges, our talented volunteers continued to take on difficult appeals and win protection for vulnerable asylum-seekers.
- Capacity Building staff provided trainings on the implementation of technology in the immigration process, policies and procedures, and ethics to help CLINIC’s network follow its mission and ensure vulnerable immigrants could pursue their American dream.
- The Defending Vulnerable Populations Program staff filed five affirmative challenges in federal court as co-counsel seeking to protect unaccompanied children, asylum seeking families, TPS beneficiaries with U.S. citizen sons, daughters or spouses, and a gentleman subjected to prolonged ICE detention despite a claim to derivative U.S. citizenship. Additionally, staff drafted an amicus brief to the office of the Director on the Recognition & Accreditation (R&A) Program, and signed on to 19 amicus briefs before the Board of Immigration Appeals and U.S. courts of appeals.
- Our Estamos Unidos Asylum Project has consistently provided legal orientation through remote individualized consults during a pandemic. The project has not stopped accompanying families through difficult times and assisting them through their next steps. We also made significant contributions to the advocacy and policy arena by becoming a nationwide resource and point of reference for policies and practices along the border.
- Religious Immigration Services staff were able to successfully adapt to the year's challenges to maintain high quality direct services for our international religious worker clients, addressing the high demand for information and education on U.S. immigration laws for international religious workers. As the legal experts in this specialized niche of immigration law, our presence was furthered amplified in the Catholic community.
- Training and Legal Support focused on public charge matters by responding to an average of 25 daily requests for technical support during the pandemic, resulting in 13 immigration law trainings as the landscape changed. Additionally, TLS was called upon to update four immigration law books.
There is still much work to be done. CLINIC needs your continued support to making sure every voice is heard, every case is presented, and most importantly, families are reunited. We have counted on you in the past and you have not let us down. Please join us as we work on behalf of the immigrant families, asylum-seekers, farm workers, domestic abuse survivors, religious workers and countless others who come to our country and become part of the fabric of our nation.