Immigration law attorney Prerna Lal resigns from UC Berkeley-affiliated legal clinic post

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Amanda Ramirez/File

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Prerna Lal, an immigration attorney for UC Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program, or USP, announced their resignation in a Facebook post Monday.

Lal provided immigration legal services for USP through a partnership with the East Bay Community Law Center, or EBCLC.

“I have so enjoyed working with my colleagues, my students and my clients through the clinic and will miss them a lot,” the post read. “I have realized that it was time to move on, with respect to my career.”

In their post, Lal expressed excitement for the future, saying they will obtain a U.S. citizenship this week after 19 years in the United States.

Lal declined to comment as of press time.

Lal’s resignation was announced after their recent representation of campus junior Luis Mora. Lal was instrumental in securing Mora’s release from detainment by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, and California Border Patrol in December.

Lal served hundreds during almost three years of work with USP and EBCLC, they said in their Facebook post.

After ICE’s release of Mora, Lal was placed on paid administrative leave for reasons that remained undisclosed by the campus, USP and EBCLC — and that were unclear to Lal.

In a previous interview with The Daily Californian, Lal said they had filed a list of grievances regarding workplace discrimination to USP and EBCLC. EBCLC was carrying out an investigation of discrimination and retaliation allegations listed by Lal. The listed allegations included discrimination based on religion and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

USP and EBCLC could not be reached for comment as of press time.

“(Lal) is a crucial part of USP. USP, along with the legal clinic, did not show (them) as such. That was an issue — that they forgot (Lal) was crucial and a key element to helping students,”  Mora said. “(Lal) has not only helped me, but so many students, and whatever situation that occurred, it was not handled well. The communication between parties was not existent.”

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Prerna Lal was the only immigration attorney for UC Berkeley’s Undocumented Student Program. In fact, the program currently employs four full-time immigration attorneys through a partnership with the East Bay Community Law Center.

Contact Michele Meltzer at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @michele_meltzer.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Prerna Lal was in Texas to obtain a U.S. citizenship. In fact, Lal was in Texas to represent a client. 

A previous version of this article may have implied Lal was recently quoted discussing a filed list of grievances. In fact, Lal’s comments were based on a previous interview with The Daily Californian.