Paul Dimick

  • Hosted by American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota
  • Sponsored by Allen I Saeks PA, The Family of Hyman Edelman
  • Service location Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Law school University of Minnesota Law School
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Paul engaged in habeas corpus and other federal immigration litigation to defend low-income immigrants in Minnesota against unlawful immigration detention.

Recent years have seen unprecedented numbers in federal immigration detention under both Democratic and Republican administrations. The impact of mass immigration incarceration is particularly acute in Minnesota, as the state is home to large immigrant and refugee populations, including the nation’s largest population of Somalis. While procedurally complicated, federal habeas actions are the most powerful tool to defend noncitizens’ individual liberties. Unfortunately, the vast majority of detainees lack counsel and only a handful of Minnesota attorneys have habeas expertise in the immigration context

Paul applied to law school while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Guatemala. His experiences there repeatedly demonstrated the vital importance of working to ensure each and every person has equal access to the justice system and inspired him to spend his career representing similarly marginalized and underrepresented populations.

Fellowship Highlights

During his Fellowship, Paul:

  • Represented a medically vulnerable individual in a case challenging her continued detention during the COVID-19 pandemic and secured her release after 18 months in immigration detention.
  • Challenged the constitutionality of an immigrant’s prolonged detention during withholding-only proceedings and secured his release after nearly 20 months of civil detention.
  • Co-counseled Pedro O. v. Garland, the First District of Minnesota habeas decision requiring the government to bear the burden of proof at an initial bond hearing ordered for a noncitizen detained under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c).
  • Prevented the imminent deportation of a United States citizen and secured his release after 10 months in ICE custody.

 Next Steps

Paul continues to work for his host organization, ACLU of Minnesota, as a staff attorney. His work focuses on defending and expanding the constitutional rights of noncitizens subject to civil immigration detention.


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

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