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Immigration Justice Project

Christopher Lasch

Among areas of substantial legal need, immigration-related matters stand out as particularly acute. More than 140,000 U.S. citizens in Colorado live with at least one family member who is undocumented, and more than 17,000 Coloradans have been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). At the national level, dramatic increases in immigration enforcement over the past decade have generated record-breaking levels of detentions and deportations. With a diverse and growing citizenry, two immigration courts (in Denver and Aurora), a substantial federal detention center, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (handling petitions for review of decisions by the Bureau of Immigration Appeals), Denver is a prominent site for immigration-related cases. 

In association with its 125th anniversary in 2017-18, and as part of a comprehensive Access-to-Justice Initiative, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (“Denver Law”) proposes to launch an Immigration Justice Project, designed to (1) expand the provision of legal services to individuals facing immigration-related legal challenges; (2) create a cohort of public interest lawyers dedicated to making beneficial contributions to immigration law and policy in the Rocky Mountain West; and (3) heighten awareness of issues at the intersection of immigration law and criminal law. The Project includes the following components:  (1) an Immigration Law Clinic; (2) a Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowship for a recent graduate of Denver Law at a prominent public interest organization focused on immigration-related matters; and (3) a series of lectures, workshops, and seminars exploring cutting-edge topics at the intersection of immigration and criminal law.