Interprofessional Center

for Counseling & Legal Services

Immigration Law Practice News

Minnesota couple try to help a friend navigate the U.S. Immigration detention system, Prof. Wiebe comments in the Star Tribune

|

Prof. Wiebe, Director of the Immigration Law Practice Group, comments in the Star Tribune about private immigration detention centers.

Read More

Sarah Brenes, former immigration fellow at the IPC and now attorney at Advocates for Human Rights, comments on the asylum backlog at immigration court

|

Sarah Brenes, former immigration fellow at the IPC and now attorney at Advocates for Human Rights, comments  in the Star Tribune article, Immigration Court backlog puts lives on endless hold.

 

Read More

Minnesota citizenship fight leads to lawsuit filed against State Department | Prof. Virgil Wiebe speaks with Fox 9 News

|

A citizenship fight is playing out in Minnesota, and a lawsuit has been filed against the U.S. State Department. A young Austin man says he was born and raised here, but is now trying to prove he's an American citizen.

Prof. Wiebe speaks with Fox9 News about the matter.

Read More

Inmigrantes en alerta en Houston por inminentes redadas | Prof. Wiebe comments in La Voz de Houston

|

Organizaciones de inmigrantes en Houston dicen estar en estado de alerta y preparadas para asistir a los centroamericanos que podrían ser aprehendidos como parte de los planes del gobierno para deportar a ciertos individuos y familias de ese origen que llegaron recientemente como indocumentados.

Un artículo del diario The Washington Post publicó a finales de diciembre que a partir de enero el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de EE.UU. (ICE, por sus siglas en inglés) llevaría a cabo redadas nacionales con el objetivo de deportar a familias que han llegado en masa huyendo de la violencia en Centroamérica y que han recibido órdenes judiciales de abandonar el país en cortes estadounidenses.

Read More

Ray of hope for undocumented immigrants in sidelined debate on immigration | Prof. Wiebe

|

It's a procedural decision — explained in more detail by SCOTUSblog — but one that has renewed some hope for advocates of the program. Virgil Wiebe, law professor and director of an immigration law clinic at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, says even if the program is enacted, it's no guarantee for his clients. It is discretionary, meaning it is decided on a case-by-case basis without legal recourse.

"It's hard, as an advocate for individuals, to work in that discretionary area. You almost have to learn how to practice the law of mercy, rather than practicing the law of justice," says Wiebe. "There's not a whole lot else out there at this point. The chances of there being any legislative action on immigration in Congress were slim, and probably after the attacks in Paris, slim to none."

Read More

Minnesota immigrants scale back hopes for Obama's temporary programs | Prof. Wiebe speaks to Star Tribune

|

In Minneapolis, two nonprofit groups went ahead with the planned opening of the city-funded center at the grocery Mercado Central. After all, some legal experts, such as the University of St. Thomas’ Virgil Wiebe, were predicting swift resolution to the legal standoff in Obama’s favor. “I had that prediction completely wrong,” Wiebe says now.

An Obama administration appeal landed before the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, considered one of the nation’s most conservative. After lengthy deliberation, the court let the injunction stand earlier this month. Even if the U.S. Supreme Court were to take up the administration’s appeal in its next session, a favorable ruling would leave the government scrambling to launch the programs during Obama’s final months in office.

Read More

Article written by Professor Wiebe gets published in From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic, and International Peacebuilding

|

A book containing an article by Professor Virgil Wiebe has just been published. Andrew P. Klager edited From Suffering to Solidarity: The Historical Seeds of Mennonite Interreligious, Interethnic, and International Peacebuilding, published by Wipf and Stock. The title of Professor Wiebe’s contribution, “Called to be Snakebirds: Mennonite Historical Conditions as Inspiration for Peace Work,” draws inspiration from the new testament passage Matthew 10:16 (“Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”).

Read More»

The Visit of Pope Francis and Migrants by Prof. Virgil Wiebe

|

Pope Francis opened his comments at the White House today by saying “As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be welcomed to this country, which was largely built by such families.”

The Pope has become an outspoken advocate for the rights and protections of immigrants, a voice for welcome even when it is very hard.  In his November 2013 Apostolic Exhortation entitled Evangelii Gaudium (or The Joy of the People), he stated that 

"Migrants present a particular challenge for me, since I am the pastor of a Church without frontiers, a Church which considers herself mother to all. For this reason, I exhort all countries to a generous openness which, rather than fearing the loss of local identity, will prove capable of creating new forms of cultural synthesis. How beautiful are those cities which overcome paralysing mistrust, integrate those who are different and make this very integration a new factor of development! How attractive are those cities which, even in their architectural design, are full of spaces which connect, relate and favour the recognition of others!"

Read More

Minnesota teen fights to assert his U.S. citizenship, Prof. Wiebe comments on a case of our Legal Services Clinic Alum, Joy Beitzel.

|

For nearly two decades, Maycol Quetzecua of Austin, Minn., has lived an existence with an almost untraceable paper trail.

Sure, like many young people in America he has social media accounts, highlighting his passion for sports, music, tech gadgets, and Caribou and Starbucks coffee. On July 20, Maycol, who played tenor saxophone at Austin High School, tweeted, “I really hope Mexico and USA meet in the Copa oro Finals!” in reference to the biennial soccer tournament.

But in the eyes of the government, the 19-year-old — born without a birth certificate to parents who illegally emigrated from Mexico — is not a U.S. citizen.

Read More

The Minnesota Detention Project holds a training at the Interprofessional Center with presentations by attorneys Virgil Wiebe and Linus Chan

|

On Friday, May 22, 2015, the Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services hosted a CLE about The Minnesota Detention Project and held a training for attorneys interested in representing clients in detained immigration court. The CLE was presented by Virgil Wiebe from the University of St. Thomas School of Law and Linus Chan from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Read More»

Professor Virgil Wiebe Delivers Keynote Address in the University of Winnipeg

Sheep, shepherds and wolves—that’s the metaphor Professor Virgil Wiebe uses to describe how Mennonites have traditionally related to human rights.

Professor Virgil Wiebe addressed these apparent contradictions as part of a conference exploring different ways Mennonites have experienced issues of human rights throughout the years.

The conference, Mennonites and Human Rights: Grappling with State Power in the Past and Present was held from October 18-20 at the University of Winnipeg and hosted by the university’s Mennonite Studies department.

Mennonites have been and continue to be victims of human rights abuses, beneficiaries from the human rights abuses suffered by others, and advocates for the human rights of others.

Read more:

Conference Program

Prezi of the talk - Called to be Snakebirds: Mennonites, Human Rights and State Power. 

Professor Virgil Wiebe testifies before Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Parliament

Professor Virgil Wiebe testified by video conference before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Canadian Parliament on October 25, 2012.   He commented on proposed implementing legislation (S.10) of the Convention on Cluster Munitions and responded to questions from Senators.

Watch the video conference.