Some students, professors and graduates of the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law are hoping to make a difference in the country’s broken immigration situation. Since late June, the federal government has detained more than 600 hundred women and children, many of whom are unaccompanied minors, in the Artesia Family Detention Center located in southeastern New Mexico. There is only one attorney with an office in a 40-mile radius of the detention center, and his practice does not include immigration.
Lawyers from across the country, including Denver Law students, professor and graduates, are volunteering to help these women and children, many of whom have fled horrific violence in their home countries only to experience more during their journey to the United States. Working in a local church, these volunteers are reviewing cases for the clients they see each day… from 7 a.m. until whenever, 7 days a week.
The Artesia detention center is scheduled to close at the end of 2014.
We hear from DU law students Jessie Rehms and Sean Ays. Sean Ays was born in El Salvador and came to the US as a child with his mother, fleeing circumstances similar to many of the women at the Artesia facility. He says it was heart breaking to see the situation of the families in Artesia.