In 2002, the Southern New England School of Law established the Immigration Law Clinic (ILC) for individuals in need of legal representation in immigration-related matters but unable to afford an attorney. Enlisting the aid of willing attorneys as well as law-school faculty, staff, and students, ILC assists illegal immigrants facing possible detention or deportation. The organization battles in Immigration Court to secure political asylum or even citizenship for its clients. Its agenda favors unrestricted immigration across open borders.
ILC was established with a $100,000 taxpayer-funded government grant that was made possible by the political efforts of Democratic Congressmen Barney Frank and James McGovern (both members of the radical Progressive Caucus), and Democratic Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John Kerry. According to Congressman Frank, "The national reaction to the murders of September 11 includes unfair backlash towards the majority of immigrants. Our job is to adequately police the law and enforce the law without penalizing innocent people. If you give people adequate legal representation, the system will work out." In 2003, Frank secured an additional $125,000 in federal funds for ILC.
The Director of ILC is Southern New England School of Law professor Irene Scharf, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which has close ties to the National Lawyers Guild. Scharf assembled the initial cast of attorneys to staff ILC and recruited her own students to lend their assistance. "We're searching for clients for whom we can do something real and steer them in the right direction," she says. Among ILC's legal victories were two cases where student lawyers successfully defended a Canadian drug user and an illegal Cuban immigrant -- preventing both individuals from being deported.