Ming Cheung

  • Hosted by American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants' Rights Project
  • Sponsored by Fish & Richardson P.C., Microsoft Corporation
  • Service location San Francisco, California
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Ming’s project used impact litigation to protect the rights of children and families seeking refuge in the United States.

In recent years, children and families fleeing persecution and violence have been unlawfully denied the right to asylum—and the federal government has also cruelly detained many unaccompanied children for months instead of allowing them to reunite with their families. As a Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Ming served as counsel in several class actions and successfully advocated for safe and lawful pathways for unaccompanied children and vulnerable families to enter the United States and reunite with their loved ones.

Ming is committed to protecting the rights of immigrant children because of his own experience immigrating to the United States as a child. After spending several years apart from his family during his childhood, he became the first in his family to graduate college and attend law school. Ming hopes to use his legal training to empower others who do not have access to the opportunities he and his family had.

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship, Ming:
  • Obtained a class-wide injunction that prohibited the federal government from summarily expelling unaccompanied children from the United States.
  • Secured a class-wide injunction on behalf of migrant families, requiring the federal government to screen families for fear of persecution or torture prior to any expulsion.
  • Coordinated a border-wide referral system that enabled thousands of vulnerable individuals to quickly enter the United States and be reunited with their families, obtain critical medical care, and escape violence and persecution.
  • Secured court approval of a classwide settlement that reduces delays in the reunification of unaccompanied children with their families and sponsors in the United States.

Next Steps

Ming will remain at the American Civil Liberties Union as a staff attorney in the Voting Rights Project. He will use litigation to protect the right to vote throughout the country.


It Will Now Be Harder for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children To Languish in Government Custody

Courts issue new directives to Biden on border expulsions

Biden admin will soon allow 250 'vulnerable' migrants into U.S. daily

Fewer migrant families being expelled at border under Title 42, but critics still push for its end

Title 42 Foes Go Back To Court To Try To End COVID Measure Blocking Asylum-Seekers

ACLU: Texas migrant transportation order violates federal law

The unlawful detention of children and families fleeing persecution and violence is inflicting generational harm on thousands of future Americans. Rather than compounding their trauma, we should be helping immigrants build new lives.

Ming Cheung /
2020 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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