The Nevada System of Higher Education, College of Southern Nevada (CSN), and UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law on Thursday formally launched the expansion of the UNLV Immigration Clinic’s University Legal Services project to the students, staff and families of CSN. This expanded service is made possible by grants from CSN and UNLV.
The project, which serves students, staff and their families, combines outreach to the campus community, direct legal services, and problem-solving to overcome common issues facing immigrant students and their families. The project also assists U.S. citizens seeking legal assistance who wish to sponsor a relative so that families can stay together. Additionally, it helps legal residents apply for citizenship, defends families threatened with separation through deportation, and provides assistance with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) paperwork.
“With about 1 in 5 Nevada residents being foreign-born, the need for legal services from our growing immigrant population has increased exponentially,” said Governor Steve Sisolak. “I am pleased to see Nevada’s renowned law school, the William S. Boyd School of Law, partner with NSHE, CSN, and UNLV to address these needs by delivering free legal assistance to students, staff, and families to ensure immigrants can take full advantage of the services and protections afforded to them. When immigrants succeed, Nevada succeeds.”
Chancellor Thom Reilly said: “The importance of the work being done by Prof. Kagan and his students cannot be understated. Our diversity makes us stronger and enriches the educational experience our institutions provide. I am proud this program is expanding to help an even larger group of people. The Nevada System of Higher Education must continue to provide opportunities and support for all of our students and staff no matter their immigration status.”
Since July 2018, the UNLV Immigration Clinic has offered legal services to the UNLV community. Within its first year, the clinic assisted 52 individuals with immigration legal needs. In addition, the clinic’s law student volunteers have helped more than 200 Nevadans renew their DACA permits. The clinic has also trained nearly 60 volunteers on the DACA renewal process, and has trained more than 60 Clark County School District counselors on how best to meet the needs of immigrant students.
“The College of Southern Nevada is thrilled to offer the services of the UNLV Immigration Clinic to our students,” said CSN President Dr. Federico Zaragoza. “With one-third of our students identifying as Hispanic, CSN provides critical path to prosperity for many members of the local Latino community. To be able to offer our students these vital legal services will only enhance our efforts to ensure that all of our students reach their educational goals and prosper in the workforce.”
The announcement was made during an immigration resources fair at the CSN North Las Vegas campus. Lawyers from the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada offered free consultations with immigration attorneys, law student volunteers offered free assistance with DACA renewal forms, and several organizations and congressional offices were on hand to provide information about education, health and other resources.
“Many of our students are immigrants, or have immigrant family members. At the law school and in the Immigration Clinic want to do what we can to support the community we’re a part of,” said Michael Kagan, Joyce Mack Professor of Law and Director of the UNLV Immigration Clinic. “I am thrilled we can do this now at CSN.”
The event also included remarks from UNLV President Marta Meana and UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Dean Daniel Hamilton.