Validation through Other Means: How Immigration Clinics Can Give Immigrants a Voice When Bureaucracy Has Left them Speechless
Evelyn Haydee Cruz
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
St. Thomas Law Review, Vol. 17, p. 811, 2005
Individuals think of due process in term of fairness, "for litigants and the public, fairness appears to consist of four principal elements: (1) neutrality; (2) respect; (3) participation; and (4) trustworthiness." The current immigration process often fails to satisfy this definition. Immigrants feel that they are denied access, they are not treated with respect, and that immigration procedures are not trustworthy. If the validation immigrants seek will not come from the administrative process, then it is left to immigrants' advocates to provide it.
To do this, immigration practitioners must seek to make the process as transparent as possible for their clients, and find their clients alternative sources of voice and validation. In other words, they must look at the immigration process through a therapeutic lens. Therapeutic Jurisprudence recognizes that the carrying out of legal processes (law) has inevitable consequences for the mental health and psychological functioning of those it affects. Clinical programs can teach future immigration practitioners positive therapeutic methods to increase client satisfaction, comprehension, and acceptance, thereby preserving the client's voice and providing the client with validation. Many of the skills and techniques clinical programs currently use to train students in client-centered methodology serve therapeutic purposes.
This article describes the immigration process and its anti-therapeutic effects on immigrants. The article then discusses the use of community presentations and contextual representation practices to preserve a client's voice and validation in the immigration process.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: immigration, due process, therapeutic jurisprudence
Date posted: June 24, 2009
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