PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION: HONDURAN WOMAN NEEDS PROTECTION FROM DEPORTATION WHILE SHE HELPS HER FATHER (Dominica)

Dominica* is a 38-year-old, Spanish-speaking woman from Honduras with two daughters (ages 8 and 14). She left Honduras with her children after receiving direct death threats from a gang. After fleeing, neighbors reported that the gang had burned down the corn field that Dominica and her daughters lived on and owned. Dominica currently resides in Maryland with her father and two daughters. Since her final order for removal was issued, Dominica’s father -- who is a current CAIR Coalition client -- has been diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s, and she is his caregiver. Dominica needs assurance that she can help her father in court without being deported herself. CAIR Coalition seeks pro bono counsel to request prosecutorial discretion to make this possible. At the firm's election, this project could be styled as traditional mentoring or as co-counseling, and representation could be limited to this PD project or continue afterwards. 

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.

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Dominica* is a 38-year-old, Spanish-speaking woman from Honduras with two daughters (ages 8 and 14). Dominica fled to the United States with her daughters in 2018 after received death threats from the local gang in her home country. Knowing that the gangs mean what they say, Dominica recognized that it would be impossible to stay put or go to local authorities. In addition to the death threats, the gang extorted Dominica and destroyed her property. 

Upon arriving in the United States, Dominica retained counsel who deceived her into paying him thousands of dollars while having her sign a statement requiring her to prepare her own case. Dominica’s counsel filed a substanceless asylum application which included no supporting evidence or legal argument. Her counsel previously was reprimanded in a separate case for failing to represent his client with reasonable diligence, and for failing to communicate with his client. 

Dominica currently serves as the primary caretaker for her father who was found mentally incompetent by the immigration court in 2019 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Her father relies on her for his day-to-day living and transport. This is a material change in circumstances from the time of her own deportation proceedings. 

In order for Dominica to be able to assist her father in his own deportation proceedings, she needs assurance that the government will not seek to deport her in retaliation. CAIR Coalition seeks to partner with a firm to request prosecutorial discretion for Dominica that will protect her from deportation.

 

  • Timeline: Dominica does not have any hearings scheduled. File prosecutorial discretion request expeditiously, by mid-December at the latest. (Her father's deportation hearing is in February.)
     
  • Location:  Eastern Shore, Maryland (not detained) 
     
  • Language:  Spanish (will need Spanish-speaking team member or a 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 

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