The UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic (ILC) is undergoing some exciting changes in light of its 25th anniversary. In anticipation of these milestones, the Law School recently formed an Immigration Law Clinic Alumni Council. The Council is made up of immigration clinic alumni, like us, who want to recognize the Clinic's accomplishments, help expand its offered services, and raise the necessary funds to accomplish these goals. To do so, we need your help.
As the president and chairperson of the Council's fundraising committee, we have had the opportunity to meet with Jim Smith and other members of the Clinic to discuss some of the financial obstacles facing the Clinic today. It would be an understatement to say that the practice of immigration law has become more difficult in the years that have passed since we graduated. The work the ILC does in the area of immigration law is not only needed and greatly appreciated by its clients, it is frequently at the forefront of the work that is being done in this area across the country. For example, very few immigration clinics in the United States handle detention cases even though this is thought to be one of the biggest immigration problems facing our country today. We are fortunate to have one of the most experienced detention litigators in the country, Holly Cooper, on staff leading the charge in this area. In addition, the varied cases handled by Amagda Perez and the students in the Clinic frequently present issues that will impact cases all over the country. Further, Amagda Perez's Naturalization Workshops are an invaluable training devise, and the impact of these workshops is widespread.
However, all the benefits our Clinic has to offer do not come without a price. As the practice of immigration law grows more and more complex, the costs of handling cases increase. Many of these costs simply are not covered in the ILC's budget, and staff attorneys have had to cover these expenses out of their own pockets. More and more, expert testimony is essential to corroborate clients' cases. The cost of expert witness declarations can be as much as $2,000. In addition to expert fees, the Clinic has a need for immigration-related publications, filing fees, and funds to cover the cost of travel to and from detention facilities.
We need your help, to ensure and enhance the future of the UC Davis Immigration Law Clinic. We hope you will consider giving today.
John Gianola '90 and Nancy Coan-Torres '86