Documentary Highlights Immigration Law Clinic Work

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a woman smiling and posing for the camera

The work of Albany Law School’s Immigration Law Clinic will be featured in an upcoming primetime documentary.

MSNBC Films presents “Guerrilla Habeas,” the latest installment of the documentary series “The Turning Point.” Executive producer Trevor Noah takes a close look at U.S. immigrants threatened with deportation and the fight to keep them and their families together.

In early 2019, Capital City Rescue Mission chef Kinimo Ngoran was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during a routine check in. He spent six weeks at a detention center in Western New York. While he was detained, a team of lawyers, local organizations, law schools, and government officials quickly mobilized to get him released and back home with his U.S. citizen wife.

a woman smiling and posing for the camera
Kinimo and his wife

One of the lawyers fighting for Kinimo was Professor Sarah Rogerson, Director of The Justice Center at Albany Law School and Director of the Immigration Law Clinic. She and six clinic students started getting to work.

Sarah Rogerson
Professor Sarah Rogerson

“Cases in which someone is unexpectedly taken into custody happen all the time, unfortunately,” Rogerson said in a 2019 Albany Law magazine story. “Kinimo’s case was unique in terms of community intervention.” Not only did local organizations rally around Kinimo, but so did Albany City and County government and law enforcement officials.

Kinimo was eventually released from ICE custody. His case remains unresolved, and, four years later, the threat of deportation remains a constant presence in Kinimo’s life. Watch “Guerrilla Habeas” Sunday, February 5th at 10pm ET on MSNBC, and streaming on Peacock.