McGeorge School of Law

McGeorge Provides Free Legal Services to Immigrants at 10th Annual Fair

October 23, 2018

McGeorge students Crystal Viruet and Stephanie Peralta

McGeorge students Crystal Viruet and Stephanie Peralta helping a client at the 10th Annual McGeorge Immigration Fair.

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and community partners, the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services (SFBFS), the Mexican Consulate, and Univision, hosted the 10th annual Immigration Fair on Saturday Oct. 20, 2018 at the campus Student Center and Quad.  More than 85 volunteers provided free legal services to 47 people.

The focus of this year's fair was on helping people with naturalization applications as well as assisting applicants with DACA renewal applications. Blake Nordahl, the supervising attorney in the McGeorge Immigration Law Clinic, and Clinic Fellow Kishwer Vikaas co-organized the community service event.

Volunteers included McGeorge 70 students, staff, faculty, 15 alumni, community members and local attorneys. Faculty volunteers included McGeorge professors included Julie Davies, Hether Macfarlane, and Mary-Beth Moylan. McGeorge staff members Jocelyn Blinn, Brian Pando and Lacey Mickleburgh, and University of the Pacific Physician Assistant Program staff member Isabel Schmitz spent the day volunteering in a variety of ways to keep the event running smoothly.

 “It took a significant portion of our campus community to pull off the fair successfully and I am thankful to everyone who helped,” said Professor Nordahl. “The volunteers brought enthusiasm and dedication to community service that was reinvigorating for all of us.” Ms. Vikaas stated that “the applicants had positive comments about the fair and one applicant even gave me a hug as she was leaving.”   

Omar Huitzil from NALEO's Los Angeles office volunteered at the event and helped continue the public service work of his brother, Miguel, who had been a long-time volunteer at our fair until he tragically passed away due to cancer in 2016.  McGeorge offers the Miguel Huitzil fellowship scholarship which provides stipends to students who spend a summer doing immigration related legal work (details).     

Qualified clients were provided with assistance completing and filing naturalization or citizenship applications (N-400 and N-600) and assistance with fee-waiver applications to apply for naturalization. Study materials for Civics and English tests were also provided. Many of the fair attendees were able to mail their application at the end of the fair. Through the partnership with the SFBFS each DACA renewal applicant was provided the entire filing fee of $495 which was incredibly helpful to the applicants. 

The Oak Park restaurant La Venadita sponsored lunch for volunteers, and free coffee and snacks were donated by Espresso Metro, Freeport Bakery and Noah’s Bagels.

More than 1,300 community members in total have been helped with free immigration services through the 10 fairs McGeorge has hosted since 2009.

View more photos of the 2018 Immigration Fair here.