Newsletter | Fall 2013
Vol. 17, Issue No. 4
Susana’s Story/Pro Bono Attorneys to the Rescue
Susana grew up in Guatemala. Her abusive father abandoned the family when Susana was four, and her mother left when Susana was five to seek work in the U.S. because the family was living in poverty.
Raised by her grandparents, Susana’s difficult childhood became an even more traumatic adolescence. Violent gang members preyed on the community, and Susana was repeatedly raped by them. She made the treacherous journey to the U.S. to flee these continuing attacks.
AI Justice met Susana in the children’s immigration detention center. If returned home, Susana’s life would be at risk because she had dared to flee her attackers. The AI Justice Children’s Legal Program team enlisted the help of attorneys Carlos Corral and Maggie Berryman of Zumpano, Patricios & Winker, who represented Susana pro bono, securing a Special Immigrant Juvenile visa so that she can safely rebuild her shattered life. Attorneys who volunteer with the Children’s Legal Program are invaluable. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Aidil Oscariz, AI Justice Pro Bono Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Raul, a man who was blinded in a workplace injury, is almost completely dependent on his family for care. Although he has lived in the U.S. for many years and is married to a legal permanent resident, Raul was undocumented. He and his wife have four U.S. citizen children, all of whom are young adults. Due to his eye injury, he requires on-going medical care and special medications.
Raul was detained by immigration authorities and was facing deportation. Had he been deported, his family would have been forced to choose between Raul returning alone to a country that is almost foreign to him now and where he would have been unable to receive the medical care he urgently needs, or uprooting the family to return with him to a country they do not know and leaving behind their lives here. AI Justice successfully appealed Raul’s order of deportation, enabling his family to remain together and Raul to continue receiving critical medical treatment.