CHILDREN'S ASYLUM: CHILD THREATENED BY GANGS IS ELIGIBLE FOR ASYLUM (Edmundo)

Edmundo* is a 13-year-old boy from El Salvador. Starting when he was 11 years old, gang members would try to recruit him while he walked to and from school. The gang members threatened to kill him and his family if he did not join their ranks. Fearing for his life, Edmundo stopped attending school. He came to the U.S to continue going to school without the threat of gang violence. Based on the gang’s multiple threats on his life, Edmundo is eligible for asylum. He is seeking an attorney to represent him in an asylum interview at the USCIS Asylum Office and, if necessary, help him fight his deportation in immigration court.  

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.    

****  

Edmundo* is a 13-year-old boy from El Salvador. When Edmundo was just 11 years old, local gangs known for their violent recruiting tactics began to harass Edmundo on his way to school. Members of the gang would approach Edmundo and tell him that he had to sell drugs for them or face consequences. When Edmundo told them that he did not want to be involved in their activities they threatened to kill him and his entire family. On one occasion that gang members threatened Edmundo, one of the gang members lifted his shirt to show Edmundo that he had a knife. Because Edmundo wanted to get an education, and because the gangs would wait outside the schools, there was no way for him to avoid the attention of the gang. Edmundo’s father recognized this, and fearing for the safety of his then 12-year-old son, forbade him from attending the 7th grade. After Edmundo stopped going to school, he rarely left his house to avoid the gang. In order to continue his education in safety, Edmundo fled to the U.S. where he now lives with his aunt in Virginia.   

As a child asylum seeker, Edmundo’s asylum process will flow through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency in the first instance and then possibly be adjudicated in a half-day trial in immigration court. An attorney representing Edmundo will petition the USCIS for asylum and assist Edmundo in his asylum interview; if he does not win asylum through the USCIS process, the attorney will then represent him at trial in immigration court.

 

  • Timeline:  Edmundo does not have any hearings scheduled  

  • Location:  Fairfax County, VA (not detained). Attorneys representing children at the USCIS agency or in immigration court can be barred in any state; VA bar admission is not required.  

  • Language:  Spanish (will require a fluent Spanish-speaking pro bono team member or an outside translator) 

 

For more information about this case, please contact Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney Jennifer Grishkin at jennifer@caircoalition.org or 202-866-9287.  

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy