Jenner & Block has received the annual pro bono award from Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) for the firm’s commitment in representing immigrants in removal proceedings. CLINIC’s Board of Immigration Appeals Pro Bono Project identifies potentially meritorious administrative appeals by unrepresented noncitizens in detention and refers those cases to pro bono counsel. The firm has successfully handled a number of cases referred by CLINIC in recent years, including not only appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals, but also petitions for review by the circuit courts and representation in the immigration court following a successful appeal.
Within the last 18 months, the firm:
- Successfully obtained asylum and withholding of removal for a Somali man who moved to South Africa and faced persecution there as a Somali migrant. His claims were initially denied by the immigration judge. We appealed to the BIA, which remanded for further consideration of the withholding of removal claim, but affirmed the denial of asylum on the ground that our client was firmly settled in South Africa. After obtaining withholding on remand, we then appealed the denial of asylum to the Fifth Circuit. The government agreed to a voluntary remand, and we prevailed on remand. The team was led by staff attorney Danielle J. Nicholson and former associate Irene Ten Cate, together with Partners Matthew D. Cipolla, Marc B. Hankin and Matthew E. Price.
- Successfully obtained asylum for a Bangladeshi man who was a member of an opposition political party in Bangladesh, some members of whom had resorted to violence. The immigration judge denied asylum on the ground that our client was a member of a terrorist organization on account of those individuals’ conduct, even though our client did not know them or assist or approve of their actions in any way. We successfully appealed to the BIA, which held that the bar for terrorist activity did not apply. The team included Associate Benjamin M. Eidelson and Partner Matthew E. Price, with assistance from Senior Paralegal Cheryl L. Olson.
- Successfully obtained asylum for a Venezuelan political activist who was persecuted on account of his political activities. The immigration judge initially denied his claim on the ground that he had not established a link between the harm he suffered, which included his wife’s assassination, and his political activities. We successfully appealed to the BIA and continued the representation on remand. The team included Associate Michelle R. Singer and Partner Matthew E. Price, with translation support from Associate Manuel C. Possolo and assistance from former paralegal Casey Yi.
- Successfully obtained asylum pending background checks for a Honduran man who fled gang violence after the assassination of multiple family members in retaliation for a brother’s employment with an anti-gang police unit. Our representation began with a successful appeal to the Eleventh Circuit, and we continued representation on remand. The team included Associate Samuel C. Birnbaum and Partner Matthew E. Price, with translation support from Associate Manuel C. Possolo and assistance from Senior Paralegal Cheryl L. Olson.
- Currently represents an Iraqi man who resided in Brazil prior to coming to the United States. The immigration judge denied asylum on the ground that he was firmly resettled in Brazil. The appeal to the BIA is pending. The team consists of Associate Kara K. Trowell and Partner Matthew E. Price, along with former associate Irene Ten Cate.