The Community Health Law Partnership Clinic successfully settled Oviedo de la Cruz et. al. v. Mayorkas et. al., a lawsuit filed in 2021 against the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The lawsuit alleged violations of the Administrative Procedure Act, including unreasonable delay in the processing of benefits for immigrant survivors of crime who assisted law enforcement.

As a result of the lawsuit, 17 clients received favorable agency determinations resulting in deferred action and employment authorization pending final adjudication when their visa numbers become current. Additionally, three family members currently residing abroad were granted relief through the lawsuit, which will help one of the individual plaintiffs reunite her family.

The complaint was primarily drafted by M. Paige Finley (J.D.’21) under the supervision of clinic Director Jason A. Cade and Staff Attorney Kristen E. Shepherd, with administrative and interpretive support from Sarah Ehlers. Clinic students assisting with the litigation or the underlying immigration cases included second-year students M. Kaitlin Hocker and Victoria M. Hiten, third-year students Navroz Tharani, Thomas Evans, Luis Gomez and Paige Medley, and graduates Ansley Whiten (J.D.’21), Caitlin Felt (J.D.’20), Christopher Larsen (J.D.’20), Gabriel A. Justus (J.D.’19), Sarah Mirza (J.D.’19), Megan Alpert (J.D.’19), Alina Venick (J.D.’18), Michael D. Aune (J.D.’18), Onur Yildirim (J.D.’18), Ashley A. Rudolph (J.D.’17) and Alessandro Raimondo (J.D.’17).