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CARES Clinic

Clinic for Asylum, Refugee & Emigrant Services (CARES)

Representing asylum seekers before Federal Immigration Court and in interviews before Asylum Officers.

The Clinic for Asylum, Refugee & Emigrant Services (CARES), is an international human rights and immigration clinic. Students represent refugees who have fled human rights abuses in their home countries and seek religious or political asylum in the United States. Working in pairs, CARES students are assigned to represent from beginning to end one or more refugees fleeing human rights abuses in a court proceeding before an Immigration Judge or in an interview before an Asylum Officer. Every semester the work of CARES students results in saving the lives of their clients and reuniting their clients with family members.

In the past, CARES has represented and won asylum for refugees from countries such as Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, The Ivory Coast, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Global conditions, among other factors, will determine where CARES concentrates its resources.

What is asylum?

Throughout the world today people are suffering from human rights abuses – they live under constant fear of governments that forbid them from exercising rights that we hold as fundamental freedoms and persecute them if they try.

Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries Asylum from persecution.

            --Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 14(1).

  • Asylum is an immigration status that the U.S. government confers on people who have fled persecution or have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home countries because of who they are (their race or nationality), what they believe (their religion or political opinion) or their social group.

  • Throughout its history, the United States has been a sanctuary for oppressed people from around the world. The Pilgrims, the Quakers, the Huguenots, the Amish, and countless others came to U.S. shores in centuries past to seek refuge from government oppression. Pennsylvania became a safe haven to many of those victims of government oppression.

  • Human rights abuses similar to those that caused Pennsylvania’s first settlers to flee continue today in many parts of the world. CARES helps victims of these human rights abuses to obtain asylum protection.


Faculty: Visiting Assistant Professor Rebecca Feldmann

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If you have questions about the clinics please contact the clinic office. Your inquiry will be directed to the appropriate clinic.

Villanova University
Charles Widger School of Law
Clinical Program

299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: (610) 519-5894
Linea Espanola: (866) 655-4419
Fax: (610) 519-5173