MK attorneys win relief for unaccompanied immigrant youth

unaccompanied immigrant children
Sunday, January 4, 2015 - 8:45pm

In September 2014, we highlighted Maggio + Kattar’s efforts to screen unaccompanied immigrant youth for pro bono representation, as well as the work of Shareholder Anna Gallagher to identify legal counsel for minors, mentor pro bono attorneys, and develop and participate in trainings.

Recently, Maggio + Kattar attorneys have won victories for several of their pro bono juvenile clients. In October 2014, “Jaime,” a fifteen year old boy from Guatemala, was granted permanent resident status in the United States by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. He was sent to the United States two years ago to work after his family home in Guatemala was destroyed. In April 2014, he along with his cousin “Maria” received a necessary order from the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, stating that they are eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. In October 2014, Jaime’s application for permanent resident status was granted. He has reunited with family members in the United States and enjoys attending school. Maria’s application for permanent residency has recently been scheduled for an interview, and her green card is expected to be issued thereafter. The cousins were represented by Maggio + Kattar attorneys Elizabeth Quinn, Elizabeth Carlson, and Anna Marie Gallagher.

In November 2014, Maggio + Kattar client “Ana,” a 13 year old girl from El Salvador, was granted asylum in the United States. Ana fled her home country after suffering severe harassment and threats by gang members. She had endured extraordinary levels of violence throughout her young life, including surviving a bombing on the family home when she was just a year old. The bombing was intended to punish the family for Ana’s mother’s testimony in a criminal trial against gang members who had killed an innocent man. As Ana grew older, she experienced increasing threats by gang members, who had killed young girls who resisted their advances. After entering the United States in 2013, Ana applied for asylum with USCIS. Her application was recently granted, putting her on the path to permanent residency in a year and citizenship five years after that. Ana was represented by Maggio + Kattar attorney Elizabeth Carlson.

Maggio + Kattar is pleased to continue its commitment to pro bono legal services and especially honored to represent these young children fleeing incredible levels of violence and deprivation in their home countries.