AILA's Pro Bono Newsletter

Pro Bono Newsletter, Fall 2013

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Katie Ruhl: Fighting for DV-Based Asylum Clients Eloy, Arizona. By 2011, that number was up to 600. The local detained courts had yet to grant a single domestic violence (DV) based asylum claim. by Tally Kingsnorth W hen Katharine (Katie) Ruhl joined the Florence Project in September 2007, there were well over 300 women detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Florence and Over the course of her four years at the Florence Project, Katie relentlessly prioritized DV-based asylum cases and advocated for a change. Even after DHS acknowledged in its briefs in two separate cases the viability of DV-based asylum claims, Arizona's DHS trial attorneys still refused to change their position on DV-based asylum claims. Katie enlisted the support of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at UC Hastings to complain to the House Sub-Committee on Immigration and pressure DHS Headquarters to hold their Arizona office accountable. Katie mentored pro bono attorneys at Phoenix law firms through the nebulous legal authority for DV-based asylum and she herself represented at least 10 women before the Immigration Court and wrote countless briefs to the BIA on the issue. cases with her. In early 2012, Katie finally saw the fruits of her efforts when one of her mentees won the first DV-based asylum grant out of Eloy, and then five of her own DV-based asylum cases concluded with wins in the months that followed. Katie's unwillingness to let this issue go, even after years of devastating defeats, is the reason why a DV-based asylum client on the Arizona detained docket now has a fighting chance. In 2011, Katie left the Florence Project to go into private practice, but she brought three of her DV-based asylum Tally Kingsnorth is Pro Bono Program Director at The Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Florence, AZ. Three Cheers for Margaret Stock, AILA Hero and 2013 MacArthur Fellow T he AILA community, U.S. Military and countless clients have long recognized and extolled the virtues, expertise and overall "rock star-esque" qualities personified by Lt. Col (ret) Margaret Stock. Now the rest of the world has taken notice, as Margaret was recently named as one of the elite recipients of the MacArthur Foundation's "Genius" grants, awarding her a nostrings attached stipend totaling $625,000, which will allow her to continue pursuing her work in new and exciting ways. u WATCH AILA's Interview of the Month with 2013 MacArthur Fellow Margaret Stock. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work. Due in large part to her role in the development of landmark programs such as the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest program, the Naturalization at Basic Training Initiative, and of course AILA's very own Military Assistance Program, Margaret's considerable contributions to national security and immigration law and practice are undeniably exemplary. We applaud and appreciate Margaret for her success, and are glad to join the MacArthur Foundation in declaring her a true 'genius'! 2

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