MSU Law students' determination secures asylum for at-risk client

MSU Immigration Law Clinic students fought successfully to secure the safety of their client during an immigration hearing in Detroit. Students Marissa Accardo and Noelle Andrego represented their client before the Detroit Immigration Court.

During the removal hearing, MSU law students, supervised by Immigration Law Clinic Interim Director Marie Nelson, argued that their client would face persecution based on sexual orientation if forced to return to Jamaica. The judge granted asylum, providing permanent protection and safety in the United States.

The Immigration Law Clinic at MSU College of Law “advocates for vulnerable immigrant populations, including abused, abandoned, and neglected children; crime and trafficking victims; and persons fleeing persecution,” according to the Clinic’s webpage. Students have the opportunity to “participate in both direct client representation and systemic advocacy, learning substantive immigration law and procedure as they represent clients seeking citizenship and other forms of lawful immigration status.”

“Our students provide a critical community service to noncitizens and their families, all of whom are unable to afford legal representation,” said Clinic Director Veronica Thronson. “They are offered the unique opportunity and privilege to represent clients in court and before other administrative agencies, critically assess immigration law and policy, and learn that the work they do makes a difference. With these experiences, MSU Law students are better positioned to compete for career openings in their chosen legal fields.”


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