Law Students

University of Wisconsin-Madison Law Students Helping Immigrants in Texas
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An immigration protest in Lafayette Square in Washington DC. Photo courtesy of CNN.

Summary: University of Wisconsin-Madison students intend to help immigrants navigate the court system in Texas next month. 

Nine law students are scheduled to head to Dilley, Texas next month to represent migrants in the US immigration system. According to The Cap Times, “Members of the University of Wisconsin-Madison community are working to ease the plight of migrants seeking refuge in the United States, with law school students headed to Texas to represent them in immigration court and professors going on record denouncing Trump administration policies.”


The UW Law School students heading to Texas are being led by Erin Barbato, a clinical instructor. The group will represent families being held in a residential center.

“We don’t know what that will look like by the time we get down there,” Barbato said. “We will go anywhere they need attorneys to represent families facing deportation and in residential facilities near Dilley.”

The treatment of migrants attempting to enter the US from the southern border has caused a huge controversy over the past few weeks, and the recent “zero tolerance” policy that separated undocumented immigrants from their children was rescinded by President Donald Trump on June 20th. Despite the pledge to change the family policy, the public has continued expressing outrage at the way refugees and other migrants are being treated.

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Madison’s Chicana/Latina Studies program director Benjamin Marquez, along with 17 faculty members, issued a statement on June 23, denouncing Trump’s immigration practices.

“The separation of children from their families may have stopped, but the racialized thinking behind those policies remains,” Marquez said. “The anti-Latino/a and immigrant rhetoric has been relentless since 2016. We had to speak out. And we are still outraged.”

As protestors around the country continue raising awareness for immigrant rights, the Department of Defense is moving to build tent encampments on two military bases to house immigrant families detained by immigration enforcement.

Trump has also not backed down on his hardline immigration stance. During his campaign for president, he vocalized his desire to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country, and he famously said that many Mexican migrants were “rapists” and “murderers,” a sentiment panned by his critics.

On Thursday, Trump reiterated his demand to deport undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers, and he wants to do it without due process, according to Politico.

“Congress must pass smart, fast and reasonable Immigration Laws now. Law Enforcement at the Border is doing a great job, but the laws they are forced to work with are insane,” Trump tweeted. “When people, with or without children, enter our Country, they must be told to leave without our country being forced to endure a long and costly trial.”

“Tell the people ‘OUT,’ and they must leave, just as they would if they were standing on your front lawn,” Trump said in a second tweet. “Hiring thousands of ‘judges’ does not work and is not acceptable – only Country in the World that does this!”

What do you think of Trump’s immigration policies? Let us know in the comments below.


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