Over winter break, four University of Cincinnati law students took a trip to Folkston, Georgia, to volunteer at an immigration detention center. Cincinnati law students Brittany Triggs (3L), Natalia Trotter (3L), Isabelle Johnston (2L) and Kevin Kennedy (3L) didn't know what to expect when they made the 11-plus hour drive to Georgia, but in the end After the week-long trip, they knew their views on immigration would never be the same.
With funding from donor and UC graduate Ann deGroot, who has a keen interest in immigration rights, Triggs worked with Nancy Ent, program manager at the law school's well-known Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights, to organize everything from hotels to Means of transport for the trip. DeGroot's late husband Ido was a Holocaust survivor, a fact that piqued Anne's interest in making the trip possible. “Social justice was important to Ido,” she says, “and this fund was established in his honor so that Cincinnati law students can help fight for social justice.”
The group was accompanied by Julie LeMaster, a senior attorney and executive director of the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center in Cincinnati. LeMaster and the students partnered with the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI), a Georgia branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center that provides pro-bono legal representation at several immigrant detention centers in the Southeast.