A young mother from Mexico, hoping to improve her life in Chicago, sought help from the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic at DePaul University. She was looking for advice on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — the federal process known as DACA, which was recently renewed.
In the news these past few months, DACA outlines the process for those who came to the United States as children without legal status and want to remain in the country. The law clinic guided the young mother through the application process and helped organize her documents so she could achieve deferred action and gain legal employment. The clinic's team of lawyers and law students worked to ensure their client would have the opportunity to help her family.
"The clinic has successfully advocated in a number of cases including ultimately obtaining citizenship and lawful permanent residence for immigrants who were initially wrongfully denied," said attorney Sioban Albiol, an instructor at the clinic who also directs its Legal Resources Project.
"We think that our resources, and we, DePaul, can make a difference," Albiol said. She noted that the young mother from Mexico was able to find a job, go to school and give her children a better life. "She has been able to come out of the shadows and more fully participate in her own life and her community."
The Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic, which provides experiential learning for students in DePaul’s College of Law, serves a variety of clients.
“In addition to helping represent immigrants, the clinic's goal is to help future lawyers work on their skills by taking what they learn in the classroom and applying it to real life situations,” Albiol explained. “And, at the same time, it provides the community with representation to vulnerable populations or low-income populations such as immigrants and asylum seekers.