Cardozo School of Law Clinic Secures Release of Five Detained In Immigration Ban

Zabihollah Zarepisheh was released to his family with the aid of faculty and students from Cardozo after being detained for over 30 hours.

January 30, 2017– New York, NY– This weekend, Cardozo School of Law professors and students in the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic won the release of five of the immigrants who had been detained and faced deportation at JFK International Airport following President Trump’s executive order banning immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries. The order, issued late in the day on Friday, caused unprecedented upheaval as protesters began assembling at the country’s airports. Professor Peter Markowitz mobilized the team of students and teaching staff of the Cardozo clinic in the hours immediately after the ban was announced and began working to represent those who were being stopped as they tried to enter the country.

“Cardozo Law is committed to the rule of law and the vigilant defense of the Constitution. We are incredibly proud of Professor Markowitz and the students who used their legal training to ensure due process of law for all people and to defend those in desperate need of representation,” said Cardozo Dean Melanie Leslie. “Our faculty and students responded with dedication, compassion and professionalism, and I could not be more proud of the leadership they exhibited.”

Cardozo students worked feverishly in teams to assist those who had been cleared to enter the country but were then turned away. The students and faculty from the clinic played key roles in gathering the facts of the individual cases, drafting petitions and winning the release of the five clients. Their work was also critical in alerting U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly to the urgency of the issue and prompting her to issue a nationwide injunction in a Brooklyn court late Saturday night. In one case, the Cardozo legal team won the release of a Syrian woman as she sat on an outbound flight preparing for takeoff. The Trump administration’s sudden immigration ban, followed the next day by Judge Donnelly’s stay, is now at the center of a constitutional battle. Cardozo students were on the frontline, representing individuals whose futures hung in the balance.

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Staff On These Cases Includes:

Peter Markowitz (Professor of Law and Director, Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic)
Luis Mancheno (Clinical Teaching Fellow)
Jacqueline Pearce (Clinical Teaching Fellow)
Lindsay Nash (Associate Clinical Professor of Law)
Elise Bernlohr '16

Eric Pilch
Steven Ashur
Alexandra Lewyckyj

About Cardozo School of Law

Cardozo School of Law offers 12 clinics, including the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic and the Civil Rights Clinic. Since its inception, the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic has made national headlines for its advocacy work in immigration reform. The clinic responds to the vital need today for quality legal representation for indigent immigrants facing deportation, while also providing students with invaluable hands-on lawyering experience.

Founded in 1976 by Yeshiva University, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law has a national reputation for a top-caliber faculty and an innovative academic program that includes a wide range of exciting and practical opportunities. The school's faculty members are known for being widely published legal scholars, as well as for being actively engaged in the pursuit of social justice.

For more information contact:

John DeNatale
Assistant Dean of Communications

Julie Schneyer
Communications Associate