Applications are now being accepted for the Cleary Gottlieb 2014 Summer Fellowship at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC). The summer fellow will work on cases involving direct representation of individuals from around the world seeking asylum and other humanitarian protections. The fellow may also work on appellate and policy advocacy at the local, national and international levels. To apply, please submit a résumé, cover letter, transcript (unofficial is ok), and two references to Sabi Ardalan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are due January 20, 2014.
Co-managing director of HIRC John Willshire-Carrera moderated a panel hosted by the Anti-Defamation League on November 19, 2013 at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston,MA. Participants included Ali Noorani, the executive director of The National Immigration Forum, and Jose Antonio Vargas, a filmmaker and journalist, among others.
HIRC joined hundreds of individuals in Boston in an October 5 march to push for comprehensive immigration reform. The march was part of a nationwide effort to pressure a Republican Congress, with rallies across the United States in over 40 states. The Boston rally began at Copley Square and marched down Boylston Ave.
By Kayla Zecher
As I finished up my final week at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, a few things came to mind. And more things come to mind as I anticipate my return home to Israel, where I will continue to study law and work with the refugee community.
It has been wonderful reacquainting myself with US asylum law – a system that those of us working on these issues in Israel strive to emulate. I mean, not the enormous backlog for family reunification applicants, or for that matter, the ardent xenophobia that is so prevalent in certain US states. But for the most part, it is encouraging to get acquainted with a system in which asylum seekers are given more than two options: getting deported and facing death or life imprisonment in their country of origin, or remaining in the host country with absolutely no basic rights. This is the situation in Israel.
I have been working for the past four years with the refugee community in Israel. I have seen South Sudanese refugees deported, even those successfully enrolled in an Israeli university, despite confirmation that earlier deportees have already disappeared and were allegedly killed upon return. I have witnessed racist riots in the neighborhoods of South Tel Aviv where the migrant community is the largest, and heard the community of asylum seekers referred to as “black infiltrators” and the “cancer that ails Israel.” I have met Eritrean women who were kidnapped on their way to find work in Sudan, trafficked through the torture camps in the Sinai, then dropped off in Israel where, with no basic rights, attention, or work available to them, they have been coerced into the sex industry.
Refugee demonstration in Israel.
Against this backdrop, I have also seen countless volunteers and NGO staff work tirelessly alongside the refugee community to improve the situation. I have seen members of the refugee community rise up and begin empowering and standing up for other members of their community – helping to protect refugee women from domestic violence, providing shelters for homeless women and children, and developing numerous education opportunities. Continue reading