On March 7, 2020, eight law students, accompanied by Professors Lynette Parker and Evangeline Abriel, spent their spring break week volunteering at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona. These inspiring students were S. Coleman, Chloe Czabaranek, Osvaldo Hidalgo Otamendi, Rigoberto Lua, Vasti Montiel, Ruby Palomares, Deisy Salas, and Victor Valdez Gonzalez. During the week, they worked with detained, pro se asylum seekers to complete asylum applications, researched country conditions to support the applications, researched a number of intricate legal issues, made phone calls to arrange placements for minor immigrants, met with the dedicated Florence Project attorneys and staff, and observed court proceedings. The students recorded their experiences in the following blogs.
From Professor Evangeline Abriel:
This week was an inspirational, uplifting one for me. Despite the dark threat of COVID-19 that greeted us on our return to California, I was newly amazed at the commitment and ability of our law students to empathize with people seeking safety in the United States and to put all their efforts into working to help them achieve their goals. The students prepared themselves by studying up on the relevant law, poured themselves unstintingly into their projects, and produced excellent work. It was a privilege to share the experience with them.
This trip would not have been possible without generous donations from Santa Clara Law alumni and the law school itself. Many, many thanks for this generous support!
Thoughts from Lynette Parker:
The law students who made this journey with Professor Abriel and me to Arizona were amazing. They dedicated long hours to the projects assigned to them. They demonstrated their compassion and commitment to the clients whom they assisted. The experiences at the border are ones we will never forget. The Dependency hearing and Operation Streamline hearing are some examples of these experiences. This sign below in the window of a shop in Nogales is another example.
Thank you so much to the Santa Clara Law alumni and the Law School for supporting this 2020 Santa Clara Law Border Service Trip.