Woman Targeted by Gangs and Her Family Because of her Sexuality

Juliana* is a 19-year-old girl who survived mental, physical, and sexual abuse in El Salvador inflicted on her because she is a lesbian. Throughout her young life, she has been a target of gangs and has been abused and exiled by family. She fled her home country to seek safety in the United States and now is detained in a government facility in Virginia. She is able for asylum and needs pro bono help to win her case.


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.




Juliana grew up in El Salvador and as early as 14-years old she was targeted for her sexuality. She was expelled from school and her family assaulted her. Later, she is held at gunpoint by a gang member. The man said if she did not start “acting like a woman,” then he would “make her a woman by force.” This type of abuse and assault continued and when she was 17 her family kicked her out of the house after her stepfather tried to rape her.


At 17, Juliana fled to the United States, where she lived with her aunt. When Juliana’s aunt learned that Juliana was a lesbian, her aunt kicked her out of the house. Later, she was arrested for getting into a fight with her girlfriend in Washington, D.C. She was transferred to Caroline County Detention Facility and now faces deportation.


Juliana is eligible for asylum, withhold of removal, and Protection under the Convention against Torture.  All three of these defenses to deportation will be adjudicated in front of an immigration judge during a short trial.


Juliana speaks Spanish, and is currently detained at Caroline County Detention Center, an immigration detention center located approximately 2 hours away from Washington, DC in Virginia. CAIR Coalition can assist in setting up confidential phone calls with the client.


Please contact our Pro Bono Director, attorney Michael Lukens at (202) 870-5962, or michael@caircoalition.org, if you are interested in taking this case.