By: Jessica Leal, Student Attorney in the George Washington Law School Immigration Clinic and 3L at GW Law On November 26, 2013, my client, M-L-R-, won the opportunity to sleep at night. M-L-R- was granted asylum by Immigration Judge Paul W. Schmidt. She fled El Salvador after she was brutally raped and beaten by an MS-13 gang leader and was told that she would have to be subject to his sexual demands in the future.
This article was prepared by the George Washington Law School Immigration Clinic and was written by GW Law Professor Alberto Benitez (second from left) and Immigration Clinic Alumni Cleveland Fairchild (fifth from left), Binta Mamadou (seventh from left), and Rebekah Niblock (fourth from left). One of the most common sound bites to emerge from the ongoing immigration debate is that the immigration system is somehow “broken.” I have directed the George Washington Law School Immigration Clinic since 1996, and I do not share this view.
This is a guest post by FOBR Liz Keyes, who direct the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of Baltimore. Today was a beautiful day in Baltimore immigration court. A young woman from Honduras, born male but always feeling female inside, won asylum after suffering relentless torment from her earliest days until she fled at age 17. Everyone she ever knew in Honduras treated her with cruelty, from the teachers who brutally punished her, to the classmates hurling slurs, to her father who beat her viciously, and her sister who attacked with her with a machete when she saw our client wearing girl’s clothes.
Last week, we told you about two cases that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit heard oral arguments on. As we discussed, these cases will go a long way towards setting the law on what constitutes a particular social group for purposes of asylum. One of these cases, Martinez, dealt with the issue of whether a former gang member can be granted protection in the U.S.
There is a single line in the President’s immigration proposal that has escaped a lot of attention. As the idiotic “back of the line” concept and the path to citizenship dominate the headlines, the language of the proposal indicates that the administration would like to eliminate one of the most onerous obstacles to asylum for thousands of applicants- the notorious one year rule. If this became law, the President will preside over a vast improvement in U.S.