Welcome to the Loyola University Newsroom

Loyola at a Glance

Law clinic encourages Latino community to aid law enforcement

September 9, 2011

Laila Hlass, seated on left and Rebeca Zuniga-Hamlin, standing on right, at the community event in Hattiesburg.

Two members of the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice at Loyola University New Orleans’ College of Law recently spoke to the immigrant community in Hattiesburg, Miss., regarding their rights in reporting crime in their neighborhood.

Laila Hlass, staff attorney, and Rebeca Zuniga-Hamlin, immigrant community outreach coordinator of the clinic, came to Hattiesburg at the request of the Hattiesburg Police Department and met with about 70 members of the local Latino community. In addition to the police department, the law clinic partnered with the Immaculate Conception Church of Laurel, Miss.; Catholic Charities of Jackson, Catholic Social and Community Services of Biloxi; El Pueblo (a nonprofit group associated with the Methodist Church in Biloxi); and the Mexican consulate.

“We organized this community outreach function after I did a training with the Hattiesburg police regarding how they can work better with the immigrant community,” said Hlaas. “We also trained them on an immigration status called ‘U Nonimmigrant Status,’ a federal law that allows victims of crimes to obtain legal immigration status if they aid law enforcement in investigations. In that training, the police expressed to us how they felt like the immigrant community did not trust them and that they'd like to reach out to them.”

For more information, contact Hlass at llhlass@loyno.edu or Zuniga-Hamlin at rezuniga@loyno.edu.

For the latest updates about Loyola University New Orleans, follow us on Twitter @LoyolaNOLANews or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/loyno.

Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

Information to be included in Loyola at a Glance must be received 2-3 weeks in advance of the publication date. Send us your news here.