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Urgent and Available Cases
NIJC's network of pro bono attorneys represent asylum seekers, unaccompanied immigrant children, survivors of domestic abuse and low-income individuals applying for naturalization. NIJC screens all cases to ensure individuals are eligible for relief and to prioritize individuals and families who lack the private resources needed to obtain representation elsewhere.
NIJC pro bono attorneys receive training before taking on their first case, and ongoing technical assistance and case support as necessary throughout the life of each case.
Asylum: A transgender woman from El Salvador seeks protection based on her gender orientation. Help her present her case before an immigration judge in June 2023.
A. was beaten by her brothers and father as a teenager because she was perceived as gay. She was also bullied in school. While working as a cook on a military base, she was frequently harassed and a psychologist on the base counseled her to no longer be trans. Many of her friends were murdered in El Salvador because they were trans. A. fears the same would occur if she returns. A. left El Salvador in 2019 and was detained at the U.S. border. After passing a credible fear interview, she was released from detention and went to live with her supportive aunt. All affidavits and supporting materials for A.’s case will be due 15 days prior to her individual merits hearing, which is currently scheduled for June 14, 2023.
L. was forced into marriage as a child. Her husband routinely raped and abused her. He threw their newborn baby against the wall, killing the infant. After several years of horrific abuse, L. escaped and relocated to another city, but was left homeless. While on the streets, she suffered multiple rapes. A woman found L. and offered her a place to stay, but the woman’s husband also raped L. The woman and her husband then trafficked L. to Brazil, promising L. work as a maid in a family member’s home, but instead forcing her into a life of prostitution. While in Brazil, L. met O., who had fled Cameroon several years prior to escape political persecution. O. helped L. escape the forced prostitution, and the two relocated to another city in Brazil. After giving birth to their daughter, B., L. learned that her traffickers, who are members of the Nigerian mafia, continued to search for L., O., and B. and intended to kill them. Fearing for their lives, L., O., and B. fled to the United States. Pro bono attorneys will prepare L.'s case to present in immigration court. All filings will be due 15 days prior to their merits hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.
On October 30, 2021, M. was the victim of armed robbery at his place of employment in a cellphone store. Three masked males entered the store. One of them asked M. if he was in charge and struck M. with a firearm in the head. The three offenders took M. to a back office where the offenders stole several cellphones, stole money from M., and stole money from a cash register. The offenders asked for codes to be able to access the safe but M. did not know them. M. says the gun was also placed in his mouth. The offenders fled the scene. M. was physically attacked and sustained injuries. M.’s wife J. will be a derivative on his application. Pro bono attorneys will need to prepare his U Visa application prior to Feb. 3, 2023.
Pro Bono Spotlight
Thanks to the support of more than 2,000 pro bono attorneys from the nation's leading law firms, NIJC has made critical advances in the lives of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. NIJC provides legal services to more than 9,000 individuals each year and maintains a success rate of 90 percent in obtaining asylum for those fleeing persecution in their home countries.
NIJC offers a wide range of immigration law trainings and other opportunities for attorneys to engage with the organization's mission. An attorney taking a case for the first time must attend one of NIJC's quarterly trainings.
Feb2810:00 AM – 12:00 PMDLA Piper, Chicago, Illinois
Jun0612:00 PM – 1:30 PMHilton Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
NIJC and its pro bono attorneys are on the vanguard of federal impact litigation and advocacy, setting positive precedents for people seeking human rights protections within the United States and defending against the administration's efforts to undermine access to due process.