December 2022 - Hughes Hubbard recently obtained asylum for our pro bono client – a woman who fled to the U.S. from gender- and family-based gang violence in El Salvador – after years of assisting her in her asylum application.

The pro bono team successfully represented our client before the Immigration Court, arguing that she was entitled to asylum based on past persecution and the well-founded fear of future persecution due to her membership in the particular social group of members of her mother's immediate family. Among other possible bases for asylum, the claim that was ultimately persuasive to the Immigration Judge was based on the client's fear of future persecution due to threats from her mother's stepfather, a violent man with a long history of targeting the client's mother and her family.

Our client's asylum merits hearing took place in two parts, during which the Hughes Hubbard team presented testimony from the client and her mother regarding the dangers they had faced in El Salvador and the threats to our client's life and safety should she be forced to return. At the judge's request, given the bifurcated nature of the hearing, the Hughes Hubbard team submitted a written closing argument that provided a final opportunity to present our client's case, as well as to emphasize new evidence of recent threats to our client's life that occurred in between the two hearings.

The Immigration Judge granted asylum for the client, and the government declined to appeal.

Kristin Millay, Alexander Afnán, Justin Pendleton and paralegal Michael Havens worked on the case with supervision from Jim Boykin. Hughes Hubbard alums Katherine Thomas, Amanda Butler and Felipe Rocha dos Santos also worked on the matter during their time at the firm.