In the wake of the election of Donald Trump in January 2017,  Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic has mobilized to strengthen protections for the refugees and asylum seekers with whom they work. More than 400 students at the Law School have joined this collective effort, called the Immigration Response Initiative.

Legal Filings

Hearing request. Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (10/4/17)
On October 4, the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Commission), calling for a hearing to discuss the human rights situation of refugee claimants under the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States.

Amici curiae brief. Donald J. Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project, Donald J. Trump v. Hawaii (9/18/17)
This brief argues that the Immigration and Nationality Act as a whole constrains the President’s power to suspend entry of “classes of aliens.”

Amicus curiae brief. Material Support Human Rights First (4/10/17)
This brief submitted to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BOA) argues that giving the word “material” independent meaning will help ensure that “bona fide” refugees who pose no threat to the U.S. and are otherwise eligible for refugee protection, are not barred from asylum and withholding of removal and return to persecution in Violation of the U.S. obligations under the Refugee Convention.

Amicus curiae brief, Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Sreynuon Lunn (3/20/17)
This brief argues that Massachusetts does not have authority to arrest and detain an individual solely pursuant an ICE detainer. (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court)

Request for emergency hearing, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (2/28/17)
This request, signed by dozens of U.S. and Canadian academics and advocates, raises concerns about the Safe Third Country Agreement, and makes the case that the U.S. is no longer a “safe” place for aslyum seekers.

Amicus curiae brief, International Refugee Assistance Project et al. v. Donald Trump (3/2/17)
This brief argues that the President does not have the authority to unilaterally reduce the number of refugees admitted to the United States in the middle of a fiscal year and without consultation with Congress. (U.S. District Court of the District of Maryland)

Amicus curiae brief, Hameed Khalid Darweesh v. Donald Trump (2/16/17)
This brief argues that the President overstepped his authority when issuing the executive order concerning the Muslim ban. (U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of New York)


The Impact of President Trump’s Executive Order on Asylum Seekers

Sanctuary Campus Toolkit


On the travel ban
(produced for Harvard University)

(produced for Harvard University)