SALVADORAN TEENAGER WHO WAS THREATENED BY GANG WANTS TO STAY WITH PARENTS IN MARYLAND (JULIAN)

Julian* is 16-year-old boy from El Salvador who fled to the United States to escape persistent harassment and violence at the hands of a gang. Julian was beaten and threatened with death or threats of violence to his family over the course of several months when he resisted the gang’s attempts at recruitment. Julian is afraid to return to live with his grandparents in El Salvador as the gang knows where he lives and has threatened his grandparents. Julian needs an attorney to help him file an asylum application and remain with his parents in Maryland. 

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Julian* is 16-year-old boy from El Salvador who fled to the United States to escape persistent harassment and violence at the hands of a gang. Julian was beaten and threatened with death or threats of violence to his family over the course of several months when he resisted the gang’s attempts at recruitment. Julian is afraid to return to live with his grandparents in El Salvador as the gang knows where he lives and has threatened his grandparents.  

Julian was approached by several members of the gang on his way home from school repeatedly over the course of several months. Gang members knew his name, knew where he lived, knew that his parents lived in the United States, and threatened the safety of Julian's grandparents with whom he was living at the time. The threats of death to Julian or his grandparents, as well as violent attacks, came as a result of Julian’s refusal to join the gang or sell drugs on their behalf. Julian fled to the United States several months after the gang’s final attack, during which gang members told Julian that they would give him ‘a little more time’. 

Since arriving in the United States, Julian’s life has been transformed. He is now happily living with both his parents in Silver Spring, Maryland. He has received lifesaving heart surgery and is able to access important medical care he may need again in the future. He is afraid to return to El Salvador because he fears violence to himself or his grandparents when the gang finds out that he has returned.  

Julian needs an attorney to help him file for asylum on the grounds of past persecution.  As a child asylum seeker, Julian’s asylum process will flow through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the first instance and then possibly be adjudicated in half-day trial in immigration court. An attorney representing Julian will petition USCIS for asylum and assist Julian 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: No currently scheduled hearings. File asylum application expeditiously. In response to Covid-19, the courts currently permit attorneys to attend all hearings telephonically. 

Location: Living with parents in Montgomery County, MD (not detained)

Language: Spanish

Please contact our Pro Bono Coordinating Attorney, Jennifer Grishkin at (202) 866-9287, or jennifer@caircoalition.org, if you are interested in taking this case. 

*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy.