UOPL1506MZp021

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law - Summer2015

Community Par tnerships IMMIGRATION CLINIC SCORES ASYLUM VICTORY Students help clients who suffered religious persecution in El Salvador obtain legal status in the United States In January, former Immigration Clinic students, with supervision from Professor Blake Nordahl, won asylum for a family from El Salvador, concluding more than two years of work. Among the students representing the clients were Cristina Andrade, ’14; Sahir Faidi, ’13; and Qamar Fareed, ’15. The principal client is an evangelical pastor from El Salvador whose religious work included providing services to gang members to encourage them to leave gang life. His church also provided counseling, education, health services and ministry. The family faced threats and attacks as a result of this work. Eventually, the family fled to California when the attacks escalated. Religious persecution is a recognized ground for asylum and was the basis of the application. The family contacted the clinic with less than a month left before its one-year filing deadline. Family members said they had been taken advantage of by a nonlawyer notary, who charged them fees but did not work on their case. The clinic quickly filed an application to protect the clients’ rights. Faidi worked with each family member to draft their life histories and gather details about the basis of the claim. Andrade and Fareed finished the declarations and drafted the brief, which involved substantial research, comprehensive interviewing and fact checking. Fareed prepared the clients for the asylum interview in San Francisco, which he also attended. “I was in a position to do actual good and have a profound effect on a family’s life,” Fareed says. “So I took my job very seriously.” From left: Cristina Andrade, ’14; Qamar Fareed, ’15; and Sahir Faidi, ’13. PACI F I C L AW 21 S T E V E Y E AT E R


University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law - Summer2015
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