Mary Georgevich

  • Hosted by Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
  • Sponsored by Albert & Anne Mansfield Foundation
  • Service location Saint Paul, Minnesota
  • Law school University of Minnesota Law School
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Mary will defend and expand the rights of Somali Minnesotans to liberty, due process, and family unity through strategic litigation in immigration and federal courts, and related public education and advocacy.

There is an urgent, unmet need for representation among Somali Minnesotans whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to detain and deport. Many could qualify for relief from deportation because they face persecution in Somalia or because of family ties in Minnesota. Unfortunately, most are unable to effectively pursue defenses to deportation because authorities are once again subjecting them to coercive, arbitrary, and often unlawfully prolonged civil detention. But most detained Somali Minnesotans lack the resources and counsel necessary to challenge their deportation orders in immigration courts while also fighting for release in federal court.

As a member of the LGBTQ community, Mary has experienced the effects of radical policy change in her lifetime, and as a result, her family feels safe and welcome in this country. She hopes to work with Somali Minnesotans to create change so that Somali families and individuals will experience that security.

Fellowship Plans

Mary’s project will, in collaboration with the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM), will increase direct representation to detained Somalis appearing before Minnesota’s immigration court, especially those with deportation orders. Mary will also undertake parallel impact litigation in federal court, including pursuing writs of habeas corpus, to systematically challenge ICE’s abusive detention of Somalis. And, Mary will pursue collaborative new education and advocacy within Minnesota’s Somali community that is addressed to local, state, and federal policy makers with the ability to influence ICE detention practices. In all aspects of the project, Mary and ILCM plan to work with Somali community groups and members.


3L Paul Dimick, Mary Georgevich ’18 Awarded Equal Justice Works Fellowships

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