Impact Stories

Impact Stories features works and accomplishments of the American University Washington College of Law community of faculty, students, and alumni.

AUWCL students at the U.S. Capitol building

AUWCL Chapter of International Refugee Assistance Project Appeals to Congress for Refugee Rights


On November 3, 2017, the AUWCL chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) joined others chapters from across the country in lobbying Congressional representatives about the U.S. Refugee Admission and Special Immigrant Visa programs.

Sophia Nnadi (left) posing with Rep. Jerry McNerney (D - CA) and AUWCL peer, Mercedes Sullivan

The 22 meetings provided students an opportunity to represent the chapter clients, as well as IRAP clients as a whole, by highlighting the low cap on refugee admissions and the current lack of a special immigrant visa process for Iraqi nationals who supported U.S. Armed Forces. Students were also able to highlight the inclusion of Iraqi wartime partners in the Refugee Admission Program as the Special Immigrant Visa for Iraqis ended in 2014. The chapter has successfully resettled one special immigrant visa applicant through the Refugee Admission Program in 2017.

Lauren Beadle, Laila Ayub, Nathan Graillat, Susan Immerman, Alexa August, Zoë Baker, Emily Ford, Saadia Khan, Ryan Groundahl, Rebecca Brunty, Mercedes Sullivan, Sophia Nnadi, Taylor Gibson, Sarah Ravitz, and Joseph Diaz found the meetings with representatives interesting and rewarding.  This opportunity allowed them to advocate on behalf of their clients who have been adversely impacted by recent executive orders, limiting refugee admissions to the country.

“It is crucial that we, as advocates for displaced persons, remain vigilant about laws that are passed and issues that are discussed. We must continue to use our voices and remain forceful in our movement toward resolving refugee issues.”

Sophia Nnandi, Class of 2020