On March 28, 2011, a Baltimore immigration judge granted asylum to our client, a woman fleeing her home country of El Salvador. Our client sought refuge from the continuous and severe physical, emotional, and psychological abuse inflicted by her ex-boyfriend. Asylum was granted on the basis of past persecution due to membership in a particular social group—an unsettled area of the law with respect to victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence against women and girls is a widespread phenomena in El Salvador, and a 2010 study from the Institute for Advancement of Women found that incidents of domestic violence in the country increase each year. As a result of the victory, our client will be reunited with her children.
The Mayer Brown team consisted of Michele Keegan, Kara Hoffman and Suzanne Cartwright, supervised by Miriam Nemetz, and assisted by Marcia Maack, Fidelis Agbapuruonwu and Colleen Coffey. A significant contribution was made by Jorge Tonatiu Salazar García, who offered vital interpretation/translation services on a pro bono basis throughout our representation. The case was referred to the firm by the Tahirih Justice Center, a not-for-profit organization that works to protect immigrant women and girls seeking justice from gender-based violence.