Kirby McInerney Wins Asylum Protection for Pro Bono Clients04/10/2019
Refugees fleeing persecution in Mexico and Cameroon granted protection under the Immigration and Nationality Act
Responding to the influx of immigrants presenting themselves at ports of entry to seek asylum, Kirby McInerney LLP has stepped forward to provide pro bono legal services to detained refugees in removal proceedings. Over the past year, Kirby McInerney has helped two people fleeing persecution gain asylum protection.
In its first case, Kirby McInerney represented a member of the LGBTQ+ community from a small village in Mexico. The client had been sexually assaulted because of their sexual orientation and then was threatened to be killed by a gang who controlled the area for the same reason. Kirby McInerney established these facts and convincingly argued that their client could not safely relocate within Mexico.
In its next defensive asylum case, Kirby McInerney represented a journalist and youth activist from Cameroon. The firm's client, an Anglophone, had organized a peaceful protest to speak out against the atrocities being committed against Anglophones by the majority Francophone government. Several protesters were killed by governmental forces. Two days later the client was arrested and tortured by paramilitary forces and left for dead on the side of a road. Once the client’s picture was posted at various check points throughout the country, he fled. After Kirby McInerney's direct examination during the client's trial, ICE conceded that asylum was warranted.
Kirby McInerney continues to respond to the heavy burden placed on United States immigration courts. The New York office is currently representing a teenager from Guatemala and assisting her with her application for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, while the California office is currently representing citizens from Cameroon and Cuba who have been persecuted by their governments for engaging in political speech.