New York, June 22, 2015—Columbia Law School Professor Elora Mukherjee and students in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic have won four recent cases for detained individuals facing deportation, pulling together vast amounts of evidence in short periods of time to prove their clients’ claims.
The clinic secured asylum for two bisexual Nigerian men persecuted for their sexuality and Christian faith, and rulings withholding deportation—a finding that requires a higher standard of evidence—for Suny, a Honduran woman targeted in her country for protesting police corruption and Bilma, another Honduran woman who survived intimate partner violence. Mukherjee also won asylum for Bilma’s 6-year-old daughter, Alison, and is currently representing Angelo, Suny’s 8-year-old son.
|Professor Elora Mukherjee and students won asylum for 6-year-old Alison and a ruling withholding deportation for Alison's mother Bilma, who had been detained at the country's largest family detention center in Dilley, Texas.|
The cases show the clinic’s nationwide impact: The Nigerian men were detained at the Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey; the women were held with their children at the country’s largest family detention center in Dilley, Texas. Under Mukherjee’s leadership, the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, which launched last fall, has been at the forefront of efforts to provide representation to individuals in both facilities. Mukherjee and her students were the first advocates to provide pro bono counsel to immigrants in Dilley.