Young Siblings from El Salvador Need Representation in Asylum Hearing

Roberto* and Emilio* are 12- and 14-year-old brothers from El Salvador whose great-uncle attacked their grandmother with a machete because she inherited money and land that he wanted. This man nearly killed their grandmother, and although he is currently in prison, he has threatened to murder the rest of her family when he is released. To keep the boys safe, their family brought them to the United States. The boys have reunified with their father in Maryland, and they are eligible for asylum. They need an attorney to help them file an asylum application and represent them at their hearing on the merits in Immigration Court.


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Emilio* (age 14) and Roberto* (age 12) are brothers from El Salvador. After both of their parents came to the United States, the boys lived with the paternal grandmother, who was their primary caretaker. However, approximately 7 years ago, their great-uncle (their grandmother’s brother) attacked their grandmother with a machete, nearly killing her. According to family members, the attack was motivated by the great-uncle’s anger that his sister received a share of money and land in an inheritance that he believed should have gone only to him. The great-uncle was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crime, leaving three years of the sentence remaining. However, family members are concerned that the great-uncle may be released early for good behavior, and he has threatened to kill the grandmother’s whole family when he is released.


To keep Emilio and Roberto safe, their family members brought them to the United States. The boys are living with their father in Silver Spring, Maryland. Their mother also lives nearby and is involved in their lives, providing support and maintaining contact. Although the children entered as unaccompanied minors, because they have reunified with a parent, current governmental policy dictates that their cases must be adjudicated by an Immigration Judge in Immigration Court rather than through an interview at the USCIS Asylum Office.


The boys need an attorney to help them file their asylum application and to represent them in their merits hearing on that application in Immigration Court. They are young and are generally unaware of the persecution that awaits them, as their relatives have largely shielded them from this information.


Emilio and Roberto speak Spanish.


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*Pseudonyms are used to protect privacy.

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