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Immigration Law and Policy Clinic 2021 Highlights

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Sturm College of Law

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ILPC student attorneys celebrating with their newly released client

ILPC student attorneys (l-r) Kayla Choun, Caitlyn Wallace, and Gabby Gile celebrating with their newly released client.

Immigration Law and Policy Clinic 2021 Highlights

Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, student attorneys in the Sturm College of Law's Immigration Law and Policy Clinic (ILPC) continue providing zealous advocacy for their clients. Under the supervision of Visiting Assistant Professor & Clinical Fellow Tania Valdez and Visiting Professor Hans Meyer, ILPC student attorneys research complex legal problems, interview and counsel clients at the local immigration detention facility, and represent clients before the immigration administrative agencies and federal courts.

Since the beginning of 2021, twelve student attorneys have represented numerous clients seeking release from immigration detention. Recently, a team of three students successfully advocated for a client with a serious health condition, who was released to return to his family and community without having to pay bond. The ILPC has also continued representing clients before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and filed its first petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States.

In line with the ILPC’s mission of engaging with broader community efforts, student attorneys have held free day-long workshops assisting young people with applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The ILPC has also engaged in policy work. In 2020, ILPC students gathered data and testified in support of SB 20-083, state legislation barring ICE civil arrests at courthouses. After SB 20-083 was signed into law, students have continued examining the implementation of SB 20-083 in order to ensure statewide compliance.

ILPC Faculty Highlights

Visiting Assistant Professor & Clinical Fellow Tania Valdez


  • Pleading the Fifth in Immigration Court: A Regulatory Proposal, 98 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1343 (2021).
  • Eliminating the Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine in Immigration Matters, 97 Notre Dame L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2021 or 2022).


  • Presenter, AALS New Voices in Immigration Law (January 2021).
  • Panelist, “Policing Mental Health in the U.S. Immigration System,” Wisconsin International Law Journal Symposium (April 2021).
  • Panelist, “Eliminating the Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine in Immigration Matters,” Global Borderlands Conference, The Netherlands (September 2021).

Visiting Professor Hans Meyer

Awards and Recognition

  • Edward Sherman Award, ACLU of Colorado Bill of Rights Event (October 7, 2021).
  • Nomination, Colorado Lawyers Committee Team of the Year, Immigration Task Force Probation Disclosure Subcommittee, Colorado Lawyers Committee 2021 Awards Luncheon (October 21, 2021).


  • Presenter, “Crimmigration 101: Immigration Issues for the Bench,” Colorado State Judicial Statewide Conference (September 2021).
  • Presenter, “Rendition Resistance: Defense Strategies for Noncitizen Clients,” Colorado State Public Defender Statewide Conference (September 2021).
  • Presenter, “Holitstic Defense Strategies for ADC Lawyers,” Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel training (October 2021).
  • Presenter, “Effective, Ethical, and Holistic Representation of Noncitizen Clients,” Colorado Criminal Defense Bar training (November 2021).
  • Panelist, “Mock Hearings in Immigration Court,” American Immigration Lawyers Association Colorado Chapter (November 2021).