GU-Catholic Charities' immigration law expands
Since launching in October 2019, the Catholic Charities Immigration Clinic at Gonzaga University School of Law has served more than 70 low-income individuals and their families in need of immigration legal assistance in the Spokane area.
With a gift from Ed and Beatriz Schweitzer, it is expanding efforts by adding a faculty chair and the Border Justice Initiative.
Megan Ballard, a Gonzaga Law School faculty member since 2004, is the first Catholic Charities professor of immigration law and policy. Her expertise is on immigration, forced migration and refugee resettlement.
She also facilitates efforts to increase access to immigration-legal services for communities in need. In spring 2020, she led a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona with law students, staff and alumni to assist asylum seekers with their applications.
"The position allows me to merge my commitment to student professional growth with exploring the impact of law and policy on immigrants' rights at our borders, as well as boundaries that limit belonging," she said.
Megan will also be the first Border Justice Initiative director and formalize the law school's efforts to assist immigrants at borders through student advocacy training, strategic partnerships and educational programming.
The initiative creates a process for law students to gain hands-on legal experience by providing direct assistance to immigrants at the border and in this region.
She said the program will help "break down barriers that exclude immigrants from full civic engagement—from being welcomed contributors to schools, communities, workplaces and other realms of society."
Students will study historical and legal facets of U.S. immigration, attend immigration court, conduct workshops and directly assist immigrants in navigating the legal process.
For information, call 313-3752 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright@ The Fig Tree, January, 2021