In August 2019 our client, a native and citizen of Colombia entered the United States. He fears returning to Columbia due to repeated targeting and extortion by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia. In 2016, a peace deal was negotiated between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces, but there has been growing violence in the past year, and a call to arms for the Forces to resume its guerilla movement. Our client would like to request asylum in the United States because he fears being targeted again if he is forced to return to Colombia. He needs to file for Asylum by August of this year. Additionally, his son will become a United States citizen in March 2021, and we anticipate that the son would then be able to petition for our client to obtain lawful permanent residency.
We are seeking pro bono assistance to assist our client with his application for asylum and potentially with applying for lawful permanent residency through his son.
The client in this matter is a 59-year old longtime Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) originally from Colombia, who is currently in detained removal proceedings. He is the pillar of his family and has a very strong connection with his LPR wife, his U.S. citizen daughter, and his U.S. citizen grandchildren, whom he visited every day before being detained by ICE. Prior to his detention, our client was the primary caretaker of his elderly and disabled mother, who passed away while her son was in immigration detention. The convictions that are the basis for the charges of removability date back to 1992. Our client strongly disputes the basis for the criminal charges and was able to secure dismissal of most of the charges after trial. He never had any disciplinary issues while incarcerated, completed multiple educational and rehabilitation programs, and fully complied with the terms of his parole. He has two convictions since 1992, both for being late to re-register as a sex offender, something he has to do every 90 days by statute although he has resided at the same address since his arrival in the United States. The last time he was late to register was in 2007 and the Immigration Judge (IJ) did not consider these technical violations as a significant factor in the denial of 212(c). This case raises important issues for appeal based on the categorical approach, burden of proof to establish removability and discretion. We are seeking a volunteer attorney to file a brief and represent this client a the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
Timeline: Legal Aid filed a Notice of Appeal with the BIA on January 6, 2020 and we are awaiting a briefing schedule. The BIA gives the appellant 21 days to file a brief from the day the schedule is issued plus a 21 day extension so once the schedule has been issued, we expect that the volunteer attorney will have 42+ days to prepare and file the brief.
Last Updated: 26 March 2020
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