Immigration Clinic Students Visit Omaha Immigration Court

02 Nov 2018    

Immigration Clinic Students Visit Omaha Immigration Court

 On Thursday, November 1, students in this year's Immigration Clinic visited the Omaha Immigration Court to learn more about the Court and visit with Court personnel.  The visit and tour were arranged by College of Law alum Spencer Shucard, '14, who is an attorney advisor with the Omaha Immigration Court.

The students heard presentations by and asked questions of Immigration Judges Nancy Paul, Matthew Morrissey, and Abby Meyer, three of the four Immigration Judges currently on the bench at the Omaha Immigration Court.  Judge Meyer is a 2007 alumna of the College of Law and the Immigration Clinic.  Darrin Hetfield, who is currently head of the Omaha Office of Chief Counsel of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), also spoke to the students and answered their questions.  The meetings, which lasted nearly two hours, occurred in two separate courtrooms of the Omaha Immigration Court: one courtroom in which hearings take place for non-citizens who are not being detained by ICE, and one courtroom in which hearings take place for non-citizens who are in ICE detention.

This semester, each team of Immigration Clinic students is taking either a morning or afternoon session at the Omaha Immigration Court as "attorney of the day" for juvenile respondents in removal (deportation) proceedings.  Students meet with unrepresented juvenile respondents, screen their cases for possible relief from removal that may be available to such respondents, and then appear with the respondents at their Master Calendar hearings in Immigration Court.  The representation is limited in scope, and only extends for the duration of the Master Calendar hearing, but affords juvenile respondents an opportunity to have questions answered about their cases and get referrals to other organizations that may be able to provide long-term representation to them.  Next semester, Immigration Clinic students will appear in bond hearings, representing detained respondents who either seek to have a bond set by the Immigration Court, or who seek to have the amount of their bond reduced.  As a result, each team of students will appear in Immigration Court a minimum of two times during their tenure in the Immigration Clinic.

Students in the Immigration Clinic this year are Shannon Bond, Addison Fairchild, Burke Brown III, Andy Huynh, Paloma Contreras, Nicole Iraola, Damon Hudson, David Shea, Daniel Martin, and Deanna Pina.