Immigration Clinic: Cases, Projects & Resources

Immigration Clinic Students

 Resources for People in Immigration Proceedings

The Immigration Clinic has created self-help flyers and other resources for people in Immigration proceedings to use when applying for legal relief. These resources are meant to guide people through the difficulties of immigration law, but do not constitute legal advice.

Because immigration law and procedure can be complicated and winning a case is difficult, people are encouraged to seek the assistance of a lawyer. People who are proceeding without a lawyer and anyone who would like more detailed information about the topics discussed here should visit the law library of the detention center or jail where they are detained.

I. Representing Yourself in Immigration Court

II. Detention

  • Mandatory Detention, Bond, and Parole: English | Detención Obligatoria, Fianza y Libertad Condicional: Español
  • DHS Post-Final Order Custody Review: English | Revisión de la Custodia Despues de la Orden Final del DHS: Español

III. Other Topics

  • Detainees with Minor Children: English | Detenidos Con Hijos Menores de Edad: Español
  • Legal Status Through Family: English | Cómo Obtener Estado Legal a Travésde Un Miembro Familiar Español
  • Overview of Naturalization: English | Visión General de la Ciudadanía de los Estados Unidos Español
  • Vacating a Conviction: English | Anulando Una Condena Español
  • Expedited Removal or Reinstatement of Removal: English | Etraccion Adecuada, Reinstalacion de la Remocion y Procedimiento Administrativo de Remocion Español
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS): English | Estatus de Protección Temporal: Español

IV. Other Resources:

 Detainee Conditions

On January 8, 2018, the Immigration Clinic, with other organizations, filed an administrative complaint calling for an investigation into Glades County Detention Center--one of two places where the 92 Somali men and women who were on an attempted deportation flight are being held.  Read about the lawsuit. The complaint alleges that Glades employees have inflicted verbal and physical abuse on the Somali nationals (including the dangerous use of pepper spray), denied them medical and mental health care, and interfered with their rights to make a grievance. The complaint also cites inadequate access to the faculty by attorneys--including the lack of confidential attorney phone calls and only one attorney meeting room.

Students conduct "Know Your Rights" presentations for detainees and monitor conditions in Florida jails that hold immigrants for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). After visits to Glades County Detention Center in Moorehaven, Florida, students wrote letters of concern to jail and ICE officials. (See UM Law Immigration Clinic Letter of Concern to Jail and ICE Officials: May 30, 2017, January 19, 2016November 1, 2013, October 8, 2012October 7, 2011.

After one of these letters, the Sheriff's Office wrote a memorandum in response. Students are calling for ICE not to renew its contract with Glades. For news coverage, click here to read the Daily Business Review article and click here to listen to the WLRN Radio story.

 Stopping Deportations to Haiti

The Immigration and Human Rights Clinics began a collaborative effort in January 2011 to halt deportations to Haiti in view of the ongoing effects of the January 2010 earthquake, the cholera epidemic, and political unrest. Read more about this collaborative effort.

HAITI REPORT - Aftershocks: The Human Impact of U.S. Deportations to Post-Earthquake Haiti
In 2015, the Immigration Clinic and Human Rights Clinic, along with other groups, worked to publish a report documenting the stories of the men and women deported from the United States to post-earthquake Haiti on account of a criminal history. Read More.

 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Eligibility

The Clinic sought guidance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) about whether certain criminal dispositions constitute misdemeanors within the meaning of the Temporary Protect Status statute and regulation (see letter requesting guidance). In response to the Clinic's request, USCIS issued guidance stating that a conviction in which criminal court had certified that the defendant would receive no jail time falls outside the definition of a misdemeanor for TPS eligibility.

The Clinic had requested guidance because Florida courts routinely certify in minor cases that the defendant will not receive any jail time, thus taking away indigent defendants' right to an attorney at government expense. Because the TPS regulation specifies that a misdemeanor is a crime "punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or less," convictions obtained after a "no jail" or "no incarceration" certification fall outside the TPS definition of misdemeanor.

In its January 21, 2011 guidance, USCIS agreed with the Clinic's position.

 Challenging Unlawful Government Actions: Motions to Suppress, Damage Lawsuits

The Clinic challenges unlawful government actions against immigrants by litigating motions to suppress evidence and terminate immigration court proceedings and civil damage actions. The suppression case, Jimenez v. U.S. Attorney General, is scheduled for oral argument before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Jimenez case challenges the actions of local police who exceeded the scope of their arrest authority by enforcing civil immigration law, in violation of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Arizona v. United States. Read the Clinic's opening brief to the Eleventh Circuit, the government's response, the Clinic's reply, and the amicus brief filed by American Immigration Council.

In another suppression case, an immigration judge excluded unlawfully obtained evidence and terminated removal proceedings after finding that local police physically mistreated the Clinic's client and detained him until immigration agents arrived. Click here to read the immigration judge's decision in this case.

The Clinic recently resolved a federal damages lawsuit filed on behalf of an immigrant who was attacked by a detention officer at Krome Service Processing Center. To read about this case, click here.

 PADILLA V. KENTUCKY

Florida Defender
The Immigration Clinic has undertaken multiple efforts to ensure that the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Padilla v. Kentucky is properly implemented in Florida.Here are the amicus briefs in cases dealing with the implementation of the Supreme Court's decision in Padilla.

Hernandez v. State AILA Amicus Brief to Florida Supreme Court

Hernandez v. State AILA S. Florida Amicus 

Diaz v. State of Florida AILA S. Florida Amicus 

AILA Amicus Flores v. State of Florida  

 Florida Criminal Offenses & Immigration Law

The Immigration Clinic of the University of Miami School of Law provides training and information attorneys who represent indigent immigrant defendants in the criminal justice system. To request a training for your office, e-mail Rebecca Sharpless, rsharpless@law.miami.edu.

Practice advisories

The Clinic has authored practice advisories on the immigration consequences of certain Florida criminal offenses: 

Click here for a practice advisory on Florida's burglary statute.

Click here for a practice advisory on removal defense and Florida drug crimes

Amicus briefs

The Clinic has authored amicus briefs (see "PADILLA V. KENTUCKY" above for downloadable briefs) relating to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, which held that defense counsel have a constitutional duty to advice about immigration consequences.

Additional Resources

CONTACT INFORMATION

Immigration Clinic
University of Miami School of Law
1311 Miller Drive, E273
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone: 305-284-6092
Fax: 305-284-6093

Make a Gift

LEADERSHIP


Rebecca Sharpless, Director and Professor of Clinical Legal Education

Romy Lerner

Romy Lerner, Associate Director & Lecturer in Law

IN ACTION

Haiti Report
Click here for PDF version.

Immigration Clinic students: Caroline McGee, Michelle Abeckjerr, Elby Hernandez, Amanda Parra Criste, Rina Urias-Brizuela, Lindsay Macdonald, and Adam Hoock
Immigration Clinic Helps Unaccompanied Border Children

Immigration Clinic students Valori Corral-Nava and Tatyana Krimus
Class Action for 92 Somalis - Immigration Clinic Files Suit.

Students Candelario Saldana & Pablo Pazos
Immigration Clinic Sues County Over Jailing of Immigrants.

Click for Additional News Releases/Media

CONTACT INFORMATION

Immigration Clinic
University of Miami School of Law
1311 Miller Drive, E273
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone: 305-284-6092
Fax: 305-284-6093

Make a Gift

LEADERSHIP


Rebecca Sharpless, Director and Professor of Clinical Legal Education

Romy Lerner

Romy Lerner, Associate Director & Lecturer in Law

IN ACTION

Haiti Report
Click here for PDF version.

Immigration Clinic students: Caroline McGee, Michelle Abeckjerr, Elby Hernandez, Amanda Parra Criste, Rina Urias-Brizuela, Lindsay Macdonald, and Adam Hoock
Immigration Clinic Helps Unaccompanied Border Children

Immigration Clinic students Valori Corral-Nava and Tatyana Krimus
Class Action for 92 Somalis - Immigration Clinic Files Suit.

Students Candelario Saldana & Pablo Pazos
Immigration Clinic Sues County Over Jailing of Immigrants.

Click for Additional News Releases/Media