The Berkeley Law Anti-Trafficking Project (BATPro) participates in the ongoing fight against human trafficking primarily in two ways. The two ways are unique and attack different aspects of the problem, but both ways incorporate legal skills. The first is research and writing for the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. The second is through community outreach and education programs.
Work With the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:
BATPro conducts legal research and writing that aims to fight human trafficking in a variety of ways. Students work with experienced attorneys, research topics relevant to trafficking and immigration, and write on the intersection of these issues within published practice advisories, memoranda, and community guidance.
In partnership with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), BATPro members work on researching and drafting legal guidelines for practitioners. Last year, members worked on five different projects: researched and wrote a practice advisory on the October 2020 proposed fee rule; researched and wrote a practice advisory on abused spouses obtaining H-4 Visas; published a guide on DACA continuous residence requirement; published community resource guide about collecting criminal records for DACA recipients; and drafted a memorandum on exceptional circumstances (e.g. serious illnesses) that prevent youth from appearing at immigration hearings mandated for their continued presence in the United States. Projects change depending on the semester, but some proposed projects for next semester are:
- Practitioners Guide: This will focus on the implications of a 9th circuit en banc decision from December 2020 that concerns the spousal relationship requirements for U-Visa recipients. This project will likely explore the similarities between possible U-Visa requirements and current T-Visa requirements. Note: the T-Visa enables certain victims of a severe form of human trafficking to remain in the United States for up to 4 years.
- Advisory: This advisory will explore how survivors of crime attempting to obtain U-Visas may be entitled to deferred action and what to do to ensure their safety while going through the immigration process. Note: U-Visas are set aside for victims of certain crimes, which includes trafficking and trafficking related crimes.
- Much more: Because of the new administration, the ILRC is anticipating many more significant changes to policy in the coming year.
BATPro also seeks to promote anti-trafficking education and bring awareness to trafficking in the Bay Area. Last year, BATPro partnered with other student groups at UC Berkeley to have an open dialogue on how to combat trafficking in the Bay Area. This year, BATPro plans to partner with various experts in the field to bolster education regarding some of the most vulnerable populations subject to trafficking harms, including youth. Some possible groups include Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) located in San Mateo County, H.E.A.R.T., Grateful Garments, and Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition (BAATC).
Supervision: Students in BATPro provide legal services under the supervision of attorneys at Immigrant Legal Resource Center.
Time Commitment: Normal time commitment, including trainings, varies by program. Some programs only require approximately 10-15 hours per semester, where others would fall more in the range of 20-25 hours per semester. Flexibility exists in assigning programs, and if someone expresses an interest in a lower time commitment, we can accommodate them.
For more information, please contact the student leaders at BATPro@berkeley.edu.
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