HIRC has filed amicus briefs on behalf of national and international refugee law scholars on a variety of issues before the U.S. Supreme Court and circuit courts. Most recently, HIRC students were part of Mejilla-Romero, a case involving adjudication of a child asylum claim appealed from GBLS to the First Circuit, with the amicus brief for re-hearing en banc written by the Clinic and joined by other asylum and refugee clinics and groups, was re-heard by the panel which issued the decision, and remanded it to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Also, HIRC filed Matter of H-L-H and Z-Y-Z amicus brief in the Second Circuit on behalf of HIRC and over 70 law professors, arguing State Department profiles and reports should not be unfairly privileged over other country condition documentation in asylum adjudications.

Lastly, in Matter of K-C-, a precedent case currently pending, in which the Clinic was specifically asked to brief the issue of gender asylum by the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA) since we are the national leaders in this field. HIRC, assisted by clinic students David Neale ’12 and Julienne Eby ’13, wrote the brief for AILA.

Prior cases in which HIRC has filed amicus briefs include:

  • Negusie v. Holder, 555 U.S. 511 (2009)
  • Ndayshimiye v. Att’y Gen’l of the U.S., 557 F.3 124 (3d Cir. 2009)
  • Matter of R-A-, 22 I&N Dec. 906 (BIA 1999), vacated, 22 I&N 906 (A.G. 2001), remanded, 23 I&N 694 (A.G. 2005), remanded, 24 I&N Dec. 629 (A.G. 2008)
  • Fatin v. INS, 12 F.3d 1233, 1240 (3d Cir. 1993)
  • Tchoukhrova v. Gonzales, 404 F.3d 1181 (9th Cir. 2005)
  • Thomas v. Gonzales, 409 F.3d 1177 (9th Cir. 2005) (en banc), vacated
  • Gonzales v. Thomas, 547 U.S. 183 (2006)
  • Matter of Thomas, A75597033 (BIA Dec. 27, 2007)
  • Henriquez-Rivas vs United States Attorney General, A098-660-718 (9th Cir. 2013)  Read amicus brief here.

In addition, HIRC has established international precedent that rape constitutes torture in a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

HIRC recently filed an amicus brief in the Executive Office for Immigration Review Immigration Court on behalf the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. The brief describes how refugee law’s political opinion ground applies to certain individuals fleeing Central America to the United States.