Written by Alyssa Walker

According to the American Bar Association Journal, student interest in immigration law has skyrocketed in the past few years, with student membership in the American Immigration Lawyers Association doubling in the past 18 months. 

In a July Time.com article, Corinne Merdegia, a third-year law student at Arizona State University said, "It’s an important time to be in law school right now. The world is changing, society’s changing, but the laws could move a little faster."

At the University of Wisconsin (UW), law students are traveling to Texas to represent immigrants, including unaccompanied minors.

Every semester, the Immigrant Justice Clinic at UW allows about 12 students to practice immigration law under an immigration attorney who leads the clinic. Attorney Erin Barbato, who runs the clinic, said that "Statistics show that, if you have an attorney, you are five times more likely to be successful (in a deportation hearing)."

Immigrants, which includes unaccompanied minors, do not have a government attorney to represent them. If they can't afford an attorney, they represent themselves.

On Channel3000 in Wisconsin, UW law student Nancy Cruz said, "We focus our careers and our resources to make sure that everybody gets justice and everybody has access to basic human necessities and are treated like humans."

The Immigrant Justice Clinic has seen an uptick in the numbers of individuals in need of immigration lawyers, not just in Texas. 

Barbato added, "There's an increased desire to be involved in immigration law and the process at this time because of everything that's going on in our country towards immigrants and removal and deportation."

Learn more about studying immigration law. 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
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