Media outlets in the Twin Cities are profiling some of the recent work done by Mitchell Hamline students, faculty, and alumni on behalf of immigrants seeking asylum on the country’s southern border.
Paula Duthoy ’90 took seven students to an immigration detention center in Texas over the winter break to provide legal services to asylum seekers. Fox 9 talked with Duthoy and her students before and after the trip.
Gabriel Ramirez-Hernandez told Fox 9 that he felt an obligation to help asylum seekers.
“This is humanitarian relief—it shouldn’t really be controversial, and for so many reasons these should be the easiest stories for us to open our ears to,” Ramirez-Hernandez said.
Upon the students’ return, Harrison Hite told Fox 9 the project gave him real-world legal experience.
“One of the reasons I chose to go to Mitchell Hamline was because they’re known for their practical experience, and this was a great opportunity to get that practical experience,” Hite said.
Ana Pottratz Acosta, an assistant teaching professor at Mitchell Hamline, and Kara Lynum ’11, a Twin Cities immigration attorney, were featured in recent stories by MPR News and KSTP for their work on behalf of asylum seekers in the border area near San Diego, California.
Acosta also wrote an opinion piece for The Hill taking issue with a Department of Homeland Security policy requiring asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while their claim is processed.
“This action marks the latest in a series of egregious and legally questionable actions by our government against asylum seekers,” Acosta wrote. “However, having just returned from assisting asylum seekers in Tijuana, Mexico, I can state that this policy is not only illegal, in clear violation of the international law prohibiting refoulement of refugees, but will place the lives of thousands of asylum seekers in ongoing danger while they wait months or years to be granted asylum.”