This past spring, Nikki Marquez ’15, Lauren Tsuji ’14 and Keny Zurita ’15 co-authored a pro se guide to empower detained immigrants facing reinstatement of removal proceedings to represent themselves. Reinstatement is an expedited process by which the government can quickly deport someone who has previously been removed and has re-entered the U.S. without authorization. Immigrants that are afraid of being hurt or killed in their home country can challenge their reinstatement orders.
Reinstatement detainees represent one of the most vulnerable groups of undocumented immigrants and they have historically been underserved by the legal profession. The pro se guide assists detainees in determining if they are in reinstatement, provides step-by-step instructions for fighting their deportation, and underscores that they do have legal rights. The team worked hard to ensure that the materials are accessible to an audience with limited education and little familiarity with the American legal system.
Nikki Marquez, Lauren Tsuji and Keny Zurita in one of two visits to the West County Detention Facility in Richmond, CA where they aided with legal intakes and gained a fuller understanding of the background and needs of their target audience.