Legal Aid Society


LAS Client Seeking Asylum Was Only 17, ICE Detained Him with Adults Anyway

A young client of The Legal Aid Society’s harrowing journey from West Africa to seek asylum in the US is chronicled in The Daily Beast. Although he was only 17, Mahmoud* was unjustly held by ICE for months in an adult detention center.

“He wasn’t able to be his young self in detention. He had to grow up quickly,” said Carina Patritti, a Staff Attorney in our Immigration Law Unit who represented the young man.

Mahmound* was eventually released from the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s custody and is working with a lawyer to claim asylum. He is currently attending 10th grade at a Bronx high school.

“The only thing that makes me happy is to think about my opportunity to study here,” he said. “No one can stop me to study here, not like in my country.”

*The Daily Beast refers to our client under a pseudonym to protect his identity.

Learn more about the work of The Legal Aid Society’s Immigrant Youth Project.