English-Speaking Man from Sierra Leone Needs Help Reopening and Fighting his Immigration Case

Barrie* is a 42-year-old man from Sierra Leone with schizophrenia who is currently detained in Caroline County, Virginia. Barrie has been the victim of multiple traumas in the United States and Sierra Leone and has extensive ties to the US, including close US citizen family and children. He needs assistance filing a motion to reopen his immigration court case to lift his 2012 deportation order and pursue protection against deportation. Barrie speaks English fluently.

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Barrie* is a 42-year-old man from Sierra Leone with severe schizophrenia. His father was killed in front of him when he was young during the war, and his family received threats from rebels. He came to US approximately 20 years ago, most likely as a green card holder or on a visa. Barrie currently has holds a green card, which he believes he obtained through his aunt, who is now a US citizen and whom he considers to be his mother. Barrie has extensive family in the US, including his USC partner, two minor USC children (he does not have custody), his USC aunt/mother figure, at least one brother, and a USC nephew in the Marines.


Barrie has been long-term intermittently homeless in the DC area. He intermittently has received mental health treatment during that time. He has a long arrest history, mostly for minor offenses that can be linked to his homelessness and mental illness such as trespass, public intoxication, and petit larceny. Barrie has been a crime victim multiples times. He was stabbed twice and shot once. He is assisting the DC US Attorney’s Office in its prosecution for the most recent stabbing and may be eligible for a U Visa for victims of serious crimes based on that assistance.


In 2012, Barrie was placed in removal proceedings and ordered deported. There are strong reasons why this proceeding should be reopened, including arguments based on case law requiring procedural safeguards for people who have indicia of mental illness. It appears from the deportation order that Barrie may have filed no applications for relief and asked for deportation after a number of hearings. Barrie was ultimately released with an order of supervision because Sierra Leone did not issue travel documents at that time, but it does now.


Barrie was detained again following his most recent arrest and conviction in DC for unlawful entry. Until a Motion To Reopen (and stay of removal) is filed and granted, Barrie can be deported without seeing a judge on the basis of the old deportation order. Once a stay of removal is in place, Barrie appears to be eligible for LPR cancellation of removal (aka “green card defense,” a second chance to remain in the US after a balancing of equities, fear-based relief from deportation, and/or a U visa for victims of serious crimes who aid in the investigation or prosecution of those offenses.

Barrie is detained in Bowling Green, Virginia, and speaks English fluently.

Please contact our Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, Jennifer Grishkin at Jennifer@caircoalition.org, if you are interested in taking this case.

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy.

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