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Case Studies

Victory for Pro Bono Client in Immigration Case


Attorneys with Baker Donelson secured a major victory in the representation of a pro bono client before the United States Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Jennie Silk, Mary Katherine Smith and Buck Wellford of the Firm's Memphis office represented a Honduran woman and her young son who had fled the country to escape gang violence. The Baker Donelson team requested relief for the family under the Hague Convention Against Torture, arguing that, were the family to be removed from the United States and returned to Honduras, they would likely be persecuted or tortured.

After a full evidentiary hearing, the Immigration Court granted relief under the Convention Against Torture, allowing the family to live in the United States permanently. The ruling is especially notable given the recent changes in asylum law made by Attorney General of the United States Jeff Sessions, which eliminated many of the grounds that previously existed for the granting of asylum.

Although this ruling was not a formal grant of asylum, it provides the clients with indefinite residency status in the United States and also the ability to work legally. This will allow the client to continue to provide the necessary financial support for another minor child she was forced to leave behind in her home country with her mother.

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