Anti-Government, Gay Venezuelan Man Needs Help in Upcoming Asylum Proceedings

Simon* is a 26-year-old man from Venezuela who was forced to flee his country because of his political opinion and his sexual orientation. Simon is eligible for fear-based protection in the form of asylum and withholding of removal based on his membership in a particular social group and his political opinion, as well as Convention Against Torture because of the harm inflicted on him by the government. In addition, Simon was trafficked from Venezuela to the U.S., and so could be eligible for a T Visa. His individual hearing is scheduled for October 2, so this case presents an excellent opportunity for his attorney quickly to gain trial experience.


All CAIR Coalition matters placed with a pro bono team are robustly mentored by a CAIR Coalition attorney. Our mentoring program includes an opening meeting to discuss the scope and process of the matter, provision of samples, guidance on the law, review of draft filings, assistance with client contact, and guidance on preparation for interviews and hearings.



Simon* is a 26-year-old man from Venezuela. In 2017, he joined an anti-government political party and attended two anti-government protests. During the first protest, Simon carried a sign with the written words "narco-dictatorship." Supporters of the government beat Simon and called him a "shitty oppositionist" and a "country seller." The government police detained Simon and put him in a cell where they held him for two days. They beat him and told him they were going to kill him, that he was a "homeland seller" and an "opponent to the government." Before the second protest, police and government supporters went to Simon’s house. Simon’s father supports the government, so they told him to tell Simon not to go to the protest. Simon went to the protest anyway. After the protest, Simon’s father kicked him out of the house. He yelled at him, insulted him, and threw an iron at him. Simon fled to a relative’s house, and then left Venezuela. In addition to his political opinions that make him a target for mistreatment, Simon identifies as gay and fears returning to Venezuela on this basis.


Simon was trafficked into the United States. His trafficker has accused him of domestic violence on three occasions. One charge has been resolved, and two remain pending.


As defenses to deportation, Simon is eligible for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. Simon currently is gathering corroborating evidence of his political opposition to the Venezuelan government, and he has already submitted his asylum application. He may also be eligible for a T visa based on the fact that he was trafficked into the United States. His individual hearing is scheduled for October 2, 2019.


Simon is detained in Virginia and speaks Spanish.


If you are interested in taking this case, please contact our Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, Jennifer Grishkin, at

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy.