Salvadoran Man Needs Help Staying in the United States after Death Threats and Torture by Police

[This case is on hold while the IJ's decision is pending.] Jamie* is a 24-year-old man from El Salvador currently detained in the Worcester County Detention Center. While in El Salvador, police accused Jamie of murder and arrested him, despite Jamie being home when the crime occurred. The police threatened and tortured Jamie, demanding information about the crime or they would kill him. After three days, Jamie was released and other people were ultimately convicted of the crime, but police continued to threaten him and his family to gain information about Jamie. Fearing torture or death at the hands of Salvadoran police, Jamie fled to the United States in 2016. Jamie is looking for an attorney to represent him in seeking protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).

 

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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Jamie* is a 24-year-old man from El Salvador currently detained in the Worcester County Detention Center in Maryland. While in El Salvador, police accused Jamie of murder and arrested him. Jamie was in his home when the murder occurred, but police took him to the station with the victim’s family where both threatened him. The police threw and repeatedly hit Jamie, saying they would kill him if he did not provide information. The police kept him for three days; when he was not being beaten by police, he was being threatened by gang members who shared his cell. Jamie was then released. However, police continued to threaten to kill him and his family to gain information about Jamie. Eventually, three other men were convicted of the crime.

 

Fearing torture or death at the hands of Salvadoran police, Jamie fled to the United States in 2016. Since arriving in the United States, Salvadoran police have continued to target Jamie’s family, including arresting Jamie’s father without cause and offering release in exchange for information. It is imperative that Jamie stay in the United States to avoid further threats, torture, and possible death at the hands of Salvadoran police. Based on these facts, Jamie is eligible for protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), which would prevent the government from sending Jamie back to El Salvador.

 

In the United States, Jamie has one conviction for possession of .87 grams of marijuana for which he received a sentence of one year. Police have charged Jamie with other crimes and accused him of being affiliated with a gang, but those other charges were dismissed, and Jamie vehemently denies being affiliated with any gang; however, he does know gang members because he has grown up and lived in areas with heavy gang activity. A pro bono attorney would want to assess the viability of the fear-based defense of withholding of removal based on Jamie's having been labeled a gang member by police. 

 

Jamie had an individual (merits) hearing on November 10, 2020 in Baltimore, MD. 

 

Timeline: Individual (merits) hearing held on November 10, 2020 in Baltimore, MD. Jamie represented himself pro se and is currently awaiting the IJ's decision. In response to COVID-19, the courts currently permit attorneys to attend all hearings telephonically.

Location: Detained in Worcester, MD.

Language: Spanish

 

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

Sample?
No
Opportunity?
On