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Sabrineh Ardalan

  • Why domestic abuse and anti-gay violence qualify as persecution in asylum law

    June 15, 2018

    An article by Sabi Ardalan. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently upended decades of U.S. legal precedent by asserting that women fleeing domestic violence will not generally qualify for asylum. To do so, he challenged the principle that women victims of domestic violence are members of a “particular social group.” This phrase – “particular social group” – is critical to the work of immigration lawyers like myself. It allows us to argue that women, LGBTQ people and other vulnerable groups face specific kinds of persecution based on who they are. If left unchallenged, Sessions’ ruling could endanger thousands of asylum-seekers, including many of my clients.

  • Blue sky thinking and beyond at Harvard Law hackathons 1

    Blue sky thinking and beyond at Harvard Law hackathons

    May 2, 2018

    As part of the “HLS in the Community” bicentennial event, HLS brought the hackathon concept to the legal space. Instead of writing code, alumni and other professionals worked together on April 20 to hack out legal solutions to social and political issues.

  • Exterior of the WCC

    HIRC files amicus brief challenging U.S. Attorney General’s efforts to restrict gender asylum

    May 1, 2018

    The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program joined the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Human Rights First and Kids in Need of Defense in filing a brief of amicus curiae in the case Matter of A-B-, a case that originated in immigration court but that is now before review of the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 

  • Concern over a DACA deadline

    Concern over a DACA deadline

    February 28, 2018

    Three Harvard professors and a Ph.D. student in African and African American studies have launched the DACA Seminar, a series of events on campus aimed at sparking conversations about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and immigration policy and reform, while working to understand options available to Harvard's undocumented students.

  • TPS Recipients Ask for Increased Legal Support

    February 13, 2018

    President Donald Trump’s recent repeal of Temporary Protected Status has led some student activists and TPS recipients to argue that the University should hire more staff for the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic. The Immigration and Refugee Clinic, staffed by attorneys and students at Harvard Law School, provides legal support for immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers. The clinic recently hired a full-time staff attorney, Jason M. Corral, to protect University affiliates impacted by the Trump administration’s revised policies...Sabrineh Ardalan, assistant director of the Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinical program, wrote in an email that multiple part-time attorneys are present at TPS renewal clinics, and that her spring clinical students are required to volunteer for the clinics at least once. A focus on the University’s response to the TPS repeals comes amid a broader discussion over the University resources for immigrant affiliates.

  • Jane Mallei: Women refugees and why law matters

    Women refugees and why law matters

    October 20, 2017

    In many ways, Jane's life in Kenya was idyllic: She was an educated, confident professional woman with a flourishing career, raising a daughter whom she loved dearly. There was only one problem in her life: her husband, who had become increasingly violent and abusive in the privacy of their own home.

  • Tracing migration’s impact

    October 17, 2017

    Deconstructing the multifarious and complex questions around migration and globalization may be the most direct route to a solution for the migration crisis facing the world today, Harvard experts said last week. Questions about its ethical, legal, social, cultural, and economic implications were the focus of the Harvard Global Institute’s second annual symposium on effecting resolution to critical issues...Panelist Sabrineh Ardalan, assistant director at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program and assistant clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School, said her work at the clinic gives her an up-close view of the burdens on asylum seekers to prove their eligibility for protection, demonstrate creditability, and provide corroborating evidence. Applications for asylum have doubled since 2014, with 260,000 filed last year. “Every day, our clinic gets at least one phone call, and usually many more, from someone desperate looking for a place to call home, lost in the bureaucratic mess of our immigration system,” she said.

  • With better data, we can help set refugees up for success

    August 30, 2017

    An op-ed by Sabrineh Ardalan. In the next few months, Congress will consider a bill that would cut the number of refugees allowed into the country by more than half. Supporters say this bill would help create job opportunities for U.S. workers and spur economic growth. Yet, arguments that refugees do more damage than good simply don’t hold water. A recent report from the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, where I work, outlines refugees’ significant contributions to the U.S., in both economic and human terms. These range from starting small businesses to generating tax revenues and creating new jobs.

  • Outside of the Adams Courthouse, Boston

    In Crimmigration Clinic victory, Supreme Judicial Court rules state law enforcement lacks ‘detainer’ authority

    August 1, 2017

    In a victory for Harvard Law School’s Crimmigration Clinic, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that state authorities cannot detain someone for a U.S. immigration violation based solely on a Detainer.

  • Refugee kid among tents

    HIRC releases report offering critical recommendations for resettling refugees

    June 28, 2017

    The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program has released a far-reaching report, “Fulfilling U.S. Commitment to Refugee Resettlement,” that offers critical recommendations for resettling refugees, and recommendations for Congress and the Executive Branch on enhancing security, job creation, and equal treatment for all.

  • Sabrineh Ardalan

    Sabrineh Ardalan named assistant clinical professor of law

    May 31, 2017

    Sabrineh Ardalan ’02, assistant director of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program and a lecturer in the fields of immigration and refugee law and advocacy and trauma, refugees, and the law has been appointed assistant clinical professor at Harvard Law School.

  • Mana Azarmi '17 in London

    Mana Azarmi wins CLEA’s Outstanding Clinical Student Award

    May 22, 2017

    Mana Azarmi ’17 is the winner of the Outstanding Clinical Student Award from the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), presented annually to one student from each law school for his/her outstanding clinical coursework and contributions to the clinical community.

  • Malene Alleyne and Jin Kim

    Immigration and Refugee Clinic students testify at Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

    March 24, 2017

    On March 21, Harvard Law students Jin Kim '18 and Malene Alleyne LL.M. ’17 traveled to Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC) to participate in an emergency hearing on the effects of the Trump administration’s executive orders on immigration at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

  • Law School Students Participate in Human Rights Hearing on Immigration

    March 22, 2017

    Two students from Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic argued that the United States was no longer a “safe country” for refugees before the Inter-American Committee on Human Rights in Washington, D.C. Tuesday...The human rights committee, which promotes human rights in the Western hemisphere, granted the HIRC’s request to participate in this hearing last week. The HIRC’s team—which included HIRC Assistant Director Sabi Ardalan and Law School students Jin U. Kim [`18] and Malenei C. Alleyne [`17]—centered their statements on the status of the agreement, whose integrity Kim said was imperiled by the executive orders.

  • In support of international students

    March 15, 2017

    As President Trump last week issued a new executive order preventing citizens from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days, Harvard continued to ramp up efforts to support international students and scholars in understanding and coping with the policy shift...Resources include a website that provides a centralized source of information for undocumented members of the Harvard community, weekly support groups where students can talk with a counselor, and legal assistance through the Immigration and Refugee Clinic, which recently hired attorney Jason Corral to represent undocumented students and those with legal status obtained through the DACA initiative. “We’ve been advising people since the first set of executive orders came out in January pretty consistently until now,” said Sabrineh Ardalan, the clinic’s assistant director.

  • HIRC group at conference table

    HIRC files amicus curiae brief in NY case against Trump’s executive orders on immigration

    February 17, 2017

    The Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program filed an amicus curiae brief on February 16 in the Eastern District of New York case against President Trump’s executive orders on immigration -- one of several cases currently challenging the president’s actions on immigration.

  • Law Clinicians, Faculty Sign Amicus Brief Against Executive Order

    February 7, 2017

    Four Harvard faculty members joined in filing an amicus brief in a federal appeals court Sunday night to support another legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s immigration order. Over 200 law professors and clinicians signed the brief filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by Fatma Marouf, a Harvard Law School alumna and Director of the Immigration Law Clinic at Texas A&M; University School of Law...Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic Director Deborah E. Anker worked with Marouf— her former student—to draft the brief, and assistant director Sabrineh Ardalan helped compile signatures. Anker, Ardalan, Law School professor Bruce Hay, and School of Public Health professor Jacqueline Bhabha are all signatories. The law professors and clinicians argue that their “first-hand” experience working with clients makes their perspectives relevant to the case. The executive order “creates a serious risk of irreparable harm to our clients, students, and colleagues who have nonimmigrant (temporary) visas at United States universities,” they charge.

  • Immigration Law Experts Advise Undocumented Students

    January 13, 2017

    Staffers from Harvard Law School’s Immigration and Refugee Clinic clarified definitions of “sanctuary” spaces in an online seminar Wednesday, offering Harvard’s undocumented students individual legal consultation as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office. Philip L. Torrey, a Law School lecturer who led the seminar, said the label “sanctuary” could mean a number of things in practice, ranging from the physical prevention of immigration enforcement officials from entering a space to the guarantee that those officials have valid warrants before entering. “The term ‘sanctuary’ has no specific legal definition,” Torrey said...Torrey and fellow Law School lecturer Sabrineh Ardalan also briefed attendees on how to navigate immigration issues as Trump transitions to the White House.

  • Law School Professors Sign Letter Opposing Sessions Nomination

    January 6, 2017

    Sixteen Harvard Law School faculty members have joined thousands of other law professors across the country in signing a letter opposing Republican U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions’s nomination as United States Attorney General... Law School professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., who signed the letter, said Sessions’s record on voting rights, especially for minorities, is deeply troubling to him. “The aim of the letter is to raise the significant issues about voting, which is fundamental to our democratic experiment and, once these issues are raised, we hope that the committee and the citizenry in general would not support this nominee,” Sullivan said. “We certainly think that, party affiliation aside, no Attorney General should have taken such a radical view about voting rights laws.”

  • Corner of a city street in Ghana

    The Ghana Project

    October 25, 2016

    In Nima, a large community in the center of Accra, Ghana, water flows through the plumbing system of a small human rights advocacy office for only a few hours each day. Professor Lucie White and some of the first students in Making Rights Real: the Ghana Project learned this the hard way.

  • 15 Years Later: Immigration and 9/11

    September 8, 2016

    By Deborah Anker, Sabrineh Ardalan '02 and Phil Torrey: Fifteen years later, HIRC continues to represent clients affected by post-9/11 enforcement measures. In addition to winning asylum for hundreds of refugees, HIRC has successfully advocated for the government to release mothers and children from family detention centers in South Texas. Continue Reading »