October 20, 2021 – After nearly five years, the firm obtained legal permanent residence for a Honduran child named Emily, who traveled to the United States to be reunited with her mother.

The firm received the case in 2016 from Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a national nonprofit that provides legal counsel to unaccompanied immigrant children in the U.S.

Emily was born in a small town in Honduras in 2009. Shortly thereafter, her father left Emily and her mother.

Emily’s mother came to the United States in 2010 to earn a living, leaving Emily in the care of her sister (Emily’s aunt).  In 2016, Emily travelled to the United States to reunite with her mother.  She was detained by federal immigration officials at the port of entry in Hidalgo, Texas, and deportation proceedings were begun against her. She was released into the temporary custody of her mother in Washington D.C.

Hughes Hubbard represented Emily’s mother before the D.C. Superior Court, and Emily before the Arlington Immigration Court and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). HHR successfully obtained sole legal and physical custody of Emily for her mother, and special immigrant juvenile (SIJ) findings, from the D.C. Superior Court. It used the custody and SIJ findings to apply for statutory “Special Immigrant Juvenile Status” (SIJS) from USCIS.

Once that status was approved, HHR obtained dismissal of the deportation proceedings in immigration court (the Department of Homeland Security, the prosecuting entity, joined HHR’s motion for dismissal). Finally, in September 2021 the firm obtained permanent residence for Emily from USCIS based on the approved SIJS status.

Benjamin Britz and Alex Bedrosyan led the representation, along with firm alumni Calvin Liu and Rayhan Asat. Several paralegals assisted with the case over the years.