Winter 2019

Image of a bag on a table with books and papers overflowing out of the bag

Immigration Law: Protecting Process and Changing Lives

By Jordan Poll

Immigration news is everywhere. It’s a complicated issue. 

While the pages of this magazine could be filled with stories about the immigration work being done by Michigan Law graduates, we’ve chosen to highlight the efforts of a few individuals closer to home who are working to protect process. 

You’ll read about Professor Margo Schlanger, who, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Iraqi detainees targeted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal. The case, Hamama v. Adducci, has made national news. 

We’ve also highlighted the experiences of two Michigan Law students, each of whom volunteered to provide legal help to asylum seekers at the immigrant detention center in Dilley, Texas.

Their stories are not meant to be a comprehensive look at the immigration issue; rather, they are examples of how the work being done at Michigan Law has far-reaching and—in some cases—life-changing consequences.

Michigan Law team group photo
3L Anna Yaldo, Michigan Law Professor Margo Schlanger, 3L Allison Horwitz, and Michael Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan.

Michigan Law Team Advocates For Due Process In Iraqi Nationals Class-Action Lawsuit

Despite living, working, and raising a family in Michigan for decades, Usama “Sam” Hamama was one of more than 300 Iraqi nationals identified in 2017 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for removal. Returning to Iraq, they would likely face persecution, torture, or even death.

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Melissa Peña
Melissa Peña

Students Aid Asylum Seekers In Dilley

A week before the fall 2018 semester started, Melissa Peña was pulling 13-hour shifts at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, where the largest immigrant detention center in the United States is located. “The stories were horrific, and by Thursday they were really getting to me. I had to step outside and take a moment for myself.”

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