by Adam Delezenne
We do our best to do everything we can for our clients. But over the years, our work has provided us with opportunities to learn from our mistakes.
In 2016, Verónica, a free legal clinic client, came to us for services. We helped her fill out an important application, and we agreed to mail it to U.S. Customs and Immigration Services. Unfortunately, the form was misplaced and not filed until a month later. As a result of our delay, Verónica was denied a green card.
That was devastating news for Verónica. We did everything we could at the time to try to re-open the case with no success. Finally, two years later, we discovered a way to refile Maria’s application, and it appears she’ll finally get her green card.
We’ve learned a lot from this experience. First, we no longer mail documents on behalf of clients–instead, we give them the address and let them go to the post office. Also, we learned that even when we fall short, it’s our job to stand with our clients and do everything within our power to help them, and to keep trying. That’s how we’ve maintained a good relationship with Verónica, by honestly admitting our failures and not giving up.
The Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center provides free and low-cost legal services to those who need them most in the Detroit area, with a focus on recent immigrants and refugees.
We were founded in 2014 by Kevin Piecuch, our Executive Director