RILC travels to Kona

RILC students at meeting space in Kona
RILC students having dinner in Kona

This weekend the entire clinical class traveled to Kona for RILC’s pop up clinic. The students spent Saturday and Sunday serving 15 clinic clients and walk-ins with a range of matters including deportation defense, asylum, T visas, SIJS, TPS, DACA, adjustment of status, and work authorization.

Mahalo nui to these bright, compassionate, and hardworking Richardson law students for spending their weekend helping others: Kate Atanasio ’25, Miah Bonilla ’25, Jennifer Hoshino ’25, Alyssa Johnson ’25, Pilar Kam ’24, Lu Kline ’25, Peter Lee ’25, Ivette Olivares ’24, Justine Park ’25, Spencer Pierone ’24, Leeyannah Santos ’24, Afsoon Shirazi ’24, and Erina Yamamoto ’25.

Thanks also to our guest Prof. Constance MacIntosh of Dalhousie University Schulich School of Law for joining us.

Last but not least, thank you to our clients for sharing their lives with us and entrusting us to help them and to fight for them.

While in Kona, the RILC was so fortunate to have the opportunity to tour Misma Lani Farms in South Kona on Saturday. A big thank you to Victoria Magana Ledesma, the owner of the coffee farm business, for showing us the process of producing coffee, from bud to mug!

Mahalo nui to Victoria also for sharing her story with us. Victoria was thrust into the role of taking over the family business when her father was deported to Mexico in 2017 after living 28 years in the United States. His deportation made the national news at the time.

Victoria shared about the heartbreaking experience of family separation, of missing her father in the big moments, like her college graduation, and in the small everyday moments of life. But while the trauma of family separation took its toll on her and her siblings, it didn’t stop her from continuing to live — and to build an amazing, community-oriented, immigrant family-run business. She named her business Misma Lani — “misma” is Spanish for “same” and “lani” is Hawaiian for “sky” — as a reminder that, despite the land borders that separate them, she and her father share the same sky.

We were so honored to spend time with Victoria and to taste the wonderful coffee that her farm produces. Thank you to Jennifer Hoshino ’25 for arranging this tour. Mahalo nui loa, Victoria and to the workers at Misma Lani Farms!