For over three years, the Immigration and Farmworker (I/F) Project has been teaching students best practices in client-centered and trauma-informed lawyering for immigrants, farmworkers, their families and their communities. Students represent survivors of violence, people fleeing persecution, abused children and other vulnerable groups in applying for immigration relief before administrative courts and agencies. Through work on individual cases, students gain knowledge and experience in the fundamental skills of lawyering and the substantive laws related to immigration. Students are exposed to some of the barriers to justice faced by immigrants and farmworkers, and confront the abilities and limitations of attorneys to help clients overcome these barriers.
In addition to helping clients attain lawful immigration status and employment authorization documents, students conduct community outreach targeted to immigrants and farmworkers, and advocate for these populations. Prior to the onset of the pandemic, the I/F Project collaborated with various local churches and organizations in conducting monthly, bilingual (Spanish and English) community presentations in Quincy, Florida, a rural county with a significant immigrant and farmworker population. These presentations educated over 120 members of the community on issues including know-your-rights, safety planning, violence against women, humanitarian visas, immigration relief for crime victims, and changes to federal and state laws that affect immigrants and farmworkers. Since the pandemic, students pivoted to provide community legal education videos on YouTube in Spanish and English, and bilingual Facebook Live presentations on recent policy changes in the Biden Administration and the evolving situation at the southern border. Collectively, these videos have been viewed over 725 times.
Finally, the I/F Project engages in law reform by monitoring legislative activity and administrative rule changes, and advocating for the implementation of laws and rules favorable to the immigrant/farmworker community. In specific, students provide comments on federal proposed rules, meet with members of the Florida Legislature, testify at legislative committee hearings, propose legislation, and litigate high impact cases. One example of the I/F Project’s impact litigation work involves representing a Mexican farmworker family that has resided in the United States for many years and seeks cancellation of removal. The issue before the Board of Immigration Appeals—concerning whether a Notice of Hearing issued by the Department of Justice can cure a deficient Notice to Appear previously issued by the Department of Homeland Security—has the potential of benefitting thousands of immigrants who received similar deficient Notices to Appear.
The I/F Project is directed by Clinical Professor Ashley Hamill.
If you are interested in inquiring whether you qualify for representation, please contact the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights at 850-644-4550.
Si quiere preguntar si puede calificar para nuestros servicios, puede llamar al Centro de Derechos Humanos a 850-644-4550.