July 31, 2018 — Hughes Hubbard helped a young mother from El Salvador to secure release from immigration detention on a minimal bond and to reunite with her daughter, who was separately detained.
The client came to the U.S. on May 15, 2018 with her 12-year-old daughter to seek asylum and escape rampant gang violence in El Salvador. But they were apprehended crossing the border in Texas and immediately separated as part of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy.
Under the policy, implemented in April, border agents are required to refer adults crossing the border for criminal prosecution. Due to requirements in place prior to the Trump administration, children cannot be held in detention with their parents as they are prosecuted for illegal entry. As a result, thousands of children have been separated from their parents since April.
Border agents sent the client to a detention center in Colorado and her daughter to a facility in Arizona. The client was only permitted to speak with her daughter a few times during her 41-day detention.
The client was referred to HHR by The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law on June 12. HHR prepared a brief and marshalled evidence from her family to demonstrate that the client was entitled to a low bond because she was neither a danger to her community nor a flight risk. Following a successful hearing in the Aurora Immigration Court on June 26, the immigration judge ordered a minimum bond of $1,500.
HHR coordinated payment of the bond and the client was reunited with her cousins in Providence, Rhode Island the following morning. HHR then assisted the client with navigating numerous hurdles to be reunited with her daughter. After two weeks and hundreds of phone calls and emails with government agencies and the daughter's case managers, the client was reunited with her daughter on July 10.
A Colorado non-profit, Casa de Paz, paid for the $1,500 bond and the client's flight from Colorado to Rhode Island. Casa de Paz provides room and board and other assistance to recently released immigrants while they work out travel arrangements to reunite with family. Donations can be made here to Casa de Paz.
Erin Diers and Olivia Bensinger worked on the matter, with supervision from Hagit Elul and Vilia Hayes.