Curriculum Guide · Courses
Women and Immigration: Government Protection for Women Fleeing Gender-Based Persecution and Abuse
Professor Lisa Johnson-Firth
J.D. Practicum 1075 | 4 credit hours
Shifting migration patterns and societal forces have caused more women to leave their home countries and attempt to enter the United States. While a woman may flee her home country for the same reasons as a man, research shows that refugee women also flee their countries for gender-related reasons. In many countries, women face persecution and violence just for being women. This includes the use of rape as a weapon of war, domestic violence, so-called honor crimes, forced marriage, widow rituals, one child policies, forced sterilization policies, and female genital mutilation. In this practicum class, students will study and learn through experience about the societal forces causing the forced migration of women and how U.S. laws and policies address the immigration status of these female immigrants. We will focus on forms of relief that, while available to both men and women, are almost exclusively accessed by women to obtain legal status in the United States. Specifically, we will focus on: Asylum (specifically the gender-based prong of “membership in a particular social group”), the Violence against Women Act (for abused women who are or were married to U.S. citizens), U Visas (for victims of crime), and T Visas (for victims of trafficking). Students will conduct intakes of women fleeing their countries because of gender-based violence and draft memos for the nonprofit organization who may take on representation of the clients. Students will also work directly with attorneys at local legal services agencies who are representing female survivors of gender-based harm seeking legal status in the U.S.
Prerequisites: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).
Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic (except Street Law) or another practicum course.
THIS IS A PRACTICUM COURSE.