UCLA established a new immigration law center Wednesday with a $5 million alumna donation.
The UCLA School of Law launched the Center for Immigration Law and Policy with a pledge from Alicia Miñana, a School of Law alumna, and her husband Rob Lovelace, according to a university press release. The center will publish policy reports and work with Southern California organizations specializing in immigration law.
The School of Law decided to open the center amid an unprecedented number of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S., as well as the changing U.S. immigration policy, according to the press release.
Miñana’s family immigrated to Puerto Rico from Cuba in 1961. Her experience as part of an immigrant family gave rise to feelings of responsibility and empathy toward other immigrant families seeking a better life, Miñana said in the press release.
Miñana, a private lawyer, earned her law degree at the School of Law in 1987 and is a member of the UCLA Foundation Board of Directors, which manages donations for university improvement. She also serves as a member of the board of advisors of the School of Law and the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.
The center will also work to improve the School of Law’s existing immigration law programs, such as its service-learning trips to Tijuana, Mexico, and its Immigrants’ Rights Policy Clinic, which teaches law students how to represent immigrant clients including asylum-seeking families.
Other immigration programs in the School of Law include annual faculty-led trips to the Texas-Mexico border, where students prepare migrant women and children for the first steps of the asylum process.