Immigration Clinic Student Wins Naturalization Victory for Client

By October 30, 2019STU News

In a case over seven years in the making, Immigration Clinic member Melissa Martinez (3L) successfully argued that a long-term clinic client was eligible for and deserving of naturalization, notwithstanding a long-ago conviction for theft.

Melissa successfully argued and convinced the adjudicating officer that the client’s criminal issue did not trigger an immigration consequence, under the “categorical approach” for analyzing state criminal statutes, and also that the client’s long period of rehabilitation was dispositive of her “good moral character.” Prior clinic students had successfully terminated removal proceedings and advocated for lawful permanent resident status, raising similar arguments.

The client, now a case manager for homeless persons, took the oath of citizenship last week. Like all Clinic cases, all advocacy and argument was done by students, under supervision of Professor Michael Vastine.

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Kendra Parker

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