The UW Law School will launch a new center to support Wisconsin’s DREAMers, an all-encompassing term describing individuals who have lived in the United States without official lawful status since coming to the country as a minor. The Center for DREAMers was awarded a grant through the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment, a competitive grant program that fosters public engagement and the advancement of the Wisconsin Idea.

Clinical Professor and Director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at the Law School Erin Barbato, together with Erika Rosales, School of Education, will lead the Center for DREAMers. 

The Center for DREAMers will serve the approximately 11,000 “DREAMers” in Wisconsin, working with organizations to coordinate the provision of legal representation, mental and social services, and career and educational counseling to ease the burden of some of the uncertainty experienced by undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Barbato, who teaches second- and third-year law students to represent individuals in removal proceedings and with humanitarian-based immigration relief, says the Center will become an important resource for the community.

“The Center for DREAMers will bring together comprehensive resources for students that have DACA in Wisconsin,” said Barbato. “Currently, no organization in Wisconsin exists that has the capacity to serve the unique educational and legal needs of DACA recipients. We hope the Center will serve this population in a manner that will allow them to fulfill their potential in a state and country they call home. We are honored to have the opportunity to serve this population so they no longer have to live in fear and one day they will have equity in educational opportunities as well as citizenship.”

The Center’s mission also aligns with the Law Schools’ law-in-action tradition.

“The University of Wisconsin Law School is renowned for its Law in Action approach to legal education, and Center for DREAMers aligns with that practical approach to learning and the pursuit of equal justice,” said Dean Dan Tokaji. “We’re grateful for the Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment’s support for the Center and are thrilled by the opportunities this will provide for our students and the community.”

Submitted by Law School News on June 29, 2021

This article appears in the categories: Faculty, Features

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