In November 2012, the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic arranged for continuing clinical student Marisa Taney ’13 to work with the University of Buenos Aires, CELS, and CAREF. Read about her experience at the HIRC blog; excerpts from her post are below.
“Upon arriving in Argentina, I went to CAREF to set my schedule: three days per week I would participate in the clinic, and the other three to four days I would work on the research project and help out on other tasks as needed. I had the opportunity to interview members of the government-run Comisión del Migrante (the commission within the national public defender’s office dedicated to immigrant advocacy), to confer with attorneys in the field, and to speak with numerous immigrants themselves. I attended workshops and trainings for immigrants to inform them of their rights under the new law and engaged in candid discussions about the immigrant experience in Argentina. Through it all, I learned an enormous amount about the region, the politics, and the social implications of being an immigrant in Argentina”
“During case presentations, the lawyers and interns would pause periodically to ask if I had any questions, and would go to pains to explain banal legal processes if they were unique to Argentina. My peers were as genuinely interested in my experiences in the United States as I was in theirs in Argentina, and they regularly stayed after meetings or class to talk to me or invite me to social events. It was in incredible experience.”
“Not only was it an opportunity for me to learn about another system of immigration law, but it also allowed me to truly engage with a different society and gain multiple perspectives on immigration policy. The geographic and region-specific challenges were different, but the basic issues underlying the work were the same, and the missions of our organizations remarkably parallel. Since returning to the states I have continued to speak with my supervisors and peers in Argentina, collaborating on cases and discussing future opportunities for exchanges.”