Asylum, T Visa, U Visa: Severely Abused Guatemalan Child Is Eligible for Several Forms of Immigration Relief
Ignacio* is a 15-year-old boy from Guatemala. For as long as he can remember, Ignacio endured torturous abuse and neglect at the hands of his father both in Guatemala and here in the United States. On one occasion, Ignacio’s father broke Ignacio’s arm while they were living in Alabama, and police removed Ignacio from his father’s custody. Ignacio is eligible for asylum, the T visa for human trafficking victims, and the U visa for survivors of crime in the United States. The government is currently detaining Ignacio in Virginia.
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Ignacio* is a 15-year-old boy from Guatemala. Ignacio grew up on a humble ranch located on a coffee plantation with his six siblings, parents, and grandparents. For as long as he can remember, Ignacio’s father severely abused Ignacio and his siblings. After one particularly atrocious beating, Ignacio stopped going to school because he began experiencing cognitive problems and memory loss. Now in interviews, Ignacio sometimes provides conflicting versions of the same event, and has difficulty providing a consistent timeline. Although these issues may make Ignacio’s legal representation more challenging, they are evidence of the abuse.
When Ignacio was 15 years old, his father decided to travel to the United States to work and brought Ignacio along. One night, Ignacio’s father forced Ignacio to drink alcohol. When Ignacio refused to drink more, Ignacio’s father beat him, breaking his arm. The police arrested Ignacio’s father and placed Ignacio in the care of Child Protective Services (“CPS”) in Alabama. Later, after an incident with one of Ignacio’s foster brothers in Alabama, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (“ORR”) took custody of Ignacio and detained him in Virginia.
Ignacio has struggled to adjust to life in the United States, likely because of his father’s abuse, his head trauma, and his limited Spanish skills. In Alabama, Ignacio brought a knife to school to protect himself against children who were bullying him, and the school asked Ignacio to leave. After CPS removed Ignacio’s from his father’s care and placed him with a foster family in Alabama, Ignacio’s foster brother accused Ignacio of touching him inappropriately and CPS transferred Ignacio to the ORR.
Ignacio urgently needs pro bono counsel to represent him before United States’ Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and the Immigration Court. Ignacio is eligible for many types of immigration relief, including asylum, the T visa, and the U visa. Because of Ignacio’s cognitive difficulties, he will likely need a competency hearing to determine the protections he requires to proceed in court.
The government is currently detaining Ignacio at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, an immigration detention center located approximately three hours from Washington, DC. Ignacio speaks Chuj de San Sebastian and some Spanish
Please contact our Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, Jennifer Grishkin at (202) 866-9287, or email@example.com, if you are interested in taking this case.
*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy.