Children’s Program - Cases in Need of Pro Bono Attorneys

The following individuals are non-detained and in need of pro bono representation. For more information on non-detained cases please contact Children’s Program Pro Bono Coordinating Staff Attorney, Natalie Petrucci, at probonochildrens@RMIAN.org for more information.

ME and BL Mother and Young Daughter Fleeing Religious and Gender-Based Persecution and Domestic Violence Relief Sought:  Asylum, WH or CAT Protection in Expedited Proceedings Country of Origin: Mexico Languages: Spanish  Individual Hearing: ME and BL are scheduled for an Individual Merits Hearing in their Asylum Case on February 5, 2020 before a Visiting Immigration Judge.

ME is a 44-year-old woman from Mexico. She came to the United States with the youngest of her three children, BL, who is 10-years-old, in November 2018. After her first attempt to enter the United States, ME was quickly deported to Mexico. Within days she attempted to reenter the United States and was detained with her daughter at the family detention center in Dilley, TX. ME was put into Reasonable Fear proceedings and given a Reasonable Fear interview. The Asylum Officer found that ME has a reasonable fear of return to Mexico. ME and BL are both in immigration proceedings, but ME is only eligible for WH/CAT, while her daughter is eligible for Asylum/WH/CAT.

ME’s former partner, BL’s father, is a powerful drug trafficker with the Zetas cartel. ME and BL fled his severe domestic violence, sexual abuse, and death threats. ME’s former partner subjected her to beatings and rapes over the course of nine years. He attempted to control ME’s movements and prevent her from practicing her Catholic faith. He would beat her more for attempting to go to church or for reading religious materials. He did the same to his daughter and while also threatening her with sexual abuse and beatings to “make her a woman.” ME’s attempts to seek protection from police were ignored. BL submitted her I-589 application in August of 2019 pro se. ME will need to submit an I-589 for herself as well. ME and BL are scheduled for an asylum merits hearing on February 5, 2020 at 1:00 pm before a Visiting Immigration Judge. They require representation to file an additional I-589 for ME and at their individual hearing. RMIAN is investigating whether it will be possible to file for a continuance of this hearing to give the pro bono attorney or attorneys more time to prepare the case.

DS and KH Mother and Son Seeking Asylum and SIJS After Fleeing Gender-Based and Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Relief Sought: Asylum, WH, CAT, and SIJS (KH only) Country of Origin: Guatemala Languages: Spanish Next Hearing Date: November 21, 2019 at 8:30 am before Immigration Judge O'Hare Deadlines: DS and KH will need to file their I-589 on 11/21/19 and will have a final merits hearing no later than June 2020.  

DS is a 36-year-old native and citizen of Guatemala. She fled Guatemala with her 14-year-old son, KH. Both DS and KH suffered ongoing and severe physical and emotional abuse at the hands of DS’s husband and KH’s father for more than a decade. When DS attempted to leave her husband, he continued to stalk her and send her and her son death threats. Fearing for their lives, DS and KH fled Guatemala and entered the United States in May 2019. They require representation before the Denver Immigration Court to apply for asylum. In addition, KH requires representation to apply for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status before USCIS. (Unless the pro bono attorney is interested, RMIAN will help DS and KH find separate pro bono counsel to obtain the required SIJS predicate order.) DS and KH are on the expedited family unit (“FAMU”) docket. Their next Master Calendar Hearing will be November 21, 2019. They will likely have to file their asylum application at that time. Their final merits hearing will likely occur no later than June 2020.                                                                 

ET, AL, and JL Mexican Mother and her Two Sons Seeking Asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (Experienced AILA Attorney Preferred) Relief Sought: Asylum/WH/CAT and SIJS Country of Origin: Mexico Languages: Spanish Next Immigration Hearing: 12/4/2019 Deadline: The family is past their 1-year filing deadline, but may have arguments to overcome this rule.

ET is a 47-year-old mother and grandmother. She fled Mexico to seek protection in the U.S. with her sons, AL (age 18) and JL (age 16). ET has two U.S. Citizen children and at least one U.S. Citizen grandchild (age 2) who was separated from her at the border. Organized criminals targeted the family because of their family ties to ET’s daughter and threatened them at gunpoint at their home. The family hid until they could present themselves at the border and request protection from the U.S. Government. Since arriving in the U.S. on 08/7/2018, the family’s home has been ransacked and their 13-year-old niece has been brutally murdered. ET, AL and JL require an attorney to represent them in their removal proceedings. ET is may only be eligible for Withholding of Removal and CAT Protection because of her past immigration history. AL and JL are eligible may be eligible for asylum but are past their one-year filing deadline. AL and JL are also eligible for SIJS based on being abandoned by their father. RMIAN may be able to find state court representation should an immigration attorney agree to handle the family’s immigration case.

MC and CC Guatemalan Mother and Young Son Fleeing Severe Domestic Violence, Gender-Based Violence, and Child Abuse Relief: Asylum/WH/CAT and SIJS (CC only) Languages: Spanish Next Hearing: November 20, 2019, 8:30 am with Judge Trujillo Deadline: MC and CC will need to file for asylum prior to April 14, 2020.  

MC is a 30-year-old woman from Guatemala. She and her 8-year-old son, CC, endured a severe form of domestic violence in their home country at the hands of MC’s husband, who is also CC’s father. MC’s husband physically beat her, threw dishes at her, sexually assaulted her, and forced her to work. One sexual assault incident caused MC to become pregnant with one of her children. Fearing for their lives, MC and CC fled Guatemala and entered the U.S. on 04/14/2019. They are eligible for asylum and require representation before the Denver Immigration Court. They have their second Master Calendar Hearing on November 20, 2019. We do not believe they have been set on the court’s expedited docket but will need to apply for asylum prior to their one-year filing deadline on April 14, 2020. CC is also eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status because he suffered abuse at the hands of his father. To be eligible to apply, CC must first obtain the necessary SIJS predicate order in state court. The pro bono attorney could handle the state court APR and SIJS order and SIJS petition before USCIS. In the alternative, RMIAN may be able to find separate counsel to assist MC and CC with the state court representation only.

RM and LQ Nicaraguan Mother and Daughter Fleeing Persecution on Account of an Imputed Political Opinion, Gender, and Family-ties.     Relief: Asylum/WH/CAT and SIJS (LQ only) Languages: Spanish Next Hearing: November 20, 2019 at 9:00 am with Judge Trujillo. Deadline: MC and CC will need to file for asylum prior to May 28, 2020.

RM is a 44-year old woman from Nicaragua. Her daughter, LQ, is 12-years-old. RM and LQ fled Nicaragua because armed groups threatened to kill RM because of her husband’s political activity. RM’s husband was a vice-mayor of their hometown in Nicaragua and had been targeted by Sandinista political rivals and armed groups before, during, and after his time as mayor. These rivals and political groups also targeted RM because of her marriage to her husband, even though she did not participate in politics. RM’s husband also beat her and threatened to kill her and LQ. RM lived in Spain for a few years but did not obtain any immigration status there. She returned to Nicaragua briefly to get her daughter before escaping to the U.S. During this short visit, she received renewed threats from her husband and the armed groups. RM and LQ have their second master calendar hearing on November 20, 2019, at the Denver Immigration Court. We do not believe they are set on the court’s expedited docket but will need to apply for asylum prior to their one-year filing deadline on May 28, 2020. LQ is also eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status because she was neglected and possibly abandoned by her father. The pro bono attorney could handle the state court APR and SIJS order and SIJS petition before USCIS. In the alternative, RMIAN may be able to find separate counsel to assist RM and LQ with the state court representation only.

YR & MR
Honduran Mother and Young Son Fleeing Severe Domestic Violence, Gender-Based Violence, and Child Abuse 

Relief: Asylum/WH/CAT 
Languages: Spanish
Next Hearing: Not yet set with Immigration Court
Deadline: YR and MR will likely need to file for asylum prior to July 24th, 2020, possibly sooner if placed on the FAMU Docket  

YR is a 22-year-old woman from Honduras. She and her 11-month-old son, MR, endured severe domestic violence in their home country at the hands of YR’s partner, who is also MR’s father. MR’s partner stalked her and found her every time she moved, sexually assaulted her, and attempted to kill her by slitting her throat. One sexual assault incident caused YR to become pregnant with her child, MR. After the birth of her child, YR began receiving threats from her partner who wanted to take the child away from her. Partner threatened to use his family's influence to hurt her and son, MR. Fearing for their lives, YR and MR fled Honduras and entered the U.S. on 07/24/2019. They are eligible for asylum, WH and CAT protection and require representation before the Denver Immigration Court. Due to the fact that YR and MR entered after July 16th, 2019, they may be impacted by the new third country asylum bar. We believe they will be set on the court’s expedited Family Unit docket and will need to apply for asylum by their third master calendar hearing, or prior to July 24, 2020, whichever comes first.  

YD and her two daughters                                                                        Guatemalan Mother and Young Daughters Fleeing Domestic Violence, Gender-Based Violence and Child Abuse At the Hands of An Ex-Partner with Gang Ties                            Relief: Asylum/WH/CAT                                                         
Language: Spanish                                                               
Individual Merits Hearing: May 11, 2020 at 8:30 am with Immigration Judge Gardzelewski                                                   
YD is a 34-year-old woman who fled her home country of Guatemala with her now 7-year-old and 1-year old daughters. YD suffered severe and ongoing domestic violence at the hands of her ex-partner and her daughters' father. YD's ex partner beat her, sexually assaulted her, and had his gang-affiliated friends attack her, leaving scars on her body. He tried to control her activities, reproductive choices, and keep her from working on account of her gender and choice to live independently from a man. The family fled Guatemala in May 2019 and were placed on the Denver Immigration Court's expedited Family Unit or "FAMU" docket. They applied for asylum pro se and require representation for their asylum merits hearing scheduled for May 11, 2020 at 8:30 am.