Elon Law clinic partners with Mexican consulate general
The Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic helped families who visited the university when the Consulate General of Mexico opened mobile offices on Elon’s main campus this week as part of its public outreach efforts.
An Elon University School of Law clinic that helps refugees understand immigration rules offered aid Wednesday to Mexican citizens in Alamance County who were on campus to visit the Consulate General of Mexico.
Mobile offices in McCoy Commons were part of a four-day visit by the Mexican government to connect with its citizens unable to travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, to apply for passports, national identifications, and birth and marriage certificates for the Mexican national registry, among other services.
Abigail Seymour, a second-year Elon Law student and an Immigrant Justice Fellow with the university’s Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, spent Wednesday morning consulting with visitors who may qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program run through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in the Department of Homeland Security.
DACA is an avenue for select undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children, prior to June 2007, to legally remain in the country. Seymour scheduled future appointments at the law clinic's offices in Greensboro, North Carolina, for those whom met certain criteria.
“The law clinic normally serves refugees and those already granted asylum status,” said Seymour, who chose to attend Elon Law to work with immigrants through the clinic. “It’s rewarding to me to hear different stories. Every single person who sits down has a story, and it’s usually pretty dramatic.”
Elon administrators had been in talks with the consulate for several months and saw the mobile offices as an opportunity to be a good neighbor.
“Anything we can do to bring the local Hispanic community to campus in a positive way is a good thing,” said Woody Pelton, dean of global education at Elon University. “The consulate was happy about it, and we picked a time in the summer when we knew there wouldn’t be much of a space issue.”