CWRU prof Marixa Lasso survives another immigration tangle
Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 05:15 PM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
The court action allows Lasso to stay in the country until June, which will allow her to finish out the school year, said her attorney, David Leopold. CWRU officials retained Leopold and paid a $1,000 special processing fee to help speed along Lasso's visa request.
Leopold filed a motion in federal court last month after federal officials continued to be unresponsive, he said.
Lasso has been on the faculty at CWRU since 2005, having previously worked at California State University in Los Angeles. She was in California when she was first granted O-1 visa status, designated for non-citizens of extraordinary skill.
Last year, when Lasso found herself unable to return to Cleveland from a Fulbright-funded research trip to Panama, faculty and students started a letter-writing campaign because of the unexplained reasons for her troubles.
CWRU officials argued in court documents that Lasso is essential to the history department's curriculum and development. Because she is the only professor of Latin American history, students in her classes this semester would lose credits if she was forced out of the country on Feb. 20, during the middle of the semester, Leopold argued.