In 2009, the firm’s client witnessed the execution of two cartel members by men she believed to be associates of a rival cartel. The client publicly provided information to the Mexican police concerning the cartel murders on multiple occasions immediately following the incident.
Very few individuals publicly cooperate with police in Mexico to assist in investigating or prosecuting cartel violence for fear of deadly retribution. Just weeks after reporting the 2009 incident to the police, Loeb & Loeb’s client was shot nine times by a presumed cartel member. The hospital to which she was transported for care subsequently received threats that it would suffer grave consequences if the woman was treated. After receiving treatment, despite the threats, Loeb & Loeb’s client went into hiding before fleeing to the United States with her young children out of fear for their safety.
Based on the significant violence that the client suffered and her credible fear of further violence or death if she were to return to Mexico, the immigration judge granted asylum to her and her minor child.
This pro bono case was handled by Loeb & Loeb attorney Laura A. Wytsma in conjunction with Michael Hagerty of Public Counsel’s Immigrant’s Rights Project.
Loeb & Loeb has represented asylum seekers from across the globe, including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mexico, El Salvador and Kenya, among other nations, who are fleeing persecution or domestic abuse. The firm’s pro bono work with Public Counsel has resulted in several significant victories before the immigration courts and helped numerous individuals avoid deportation and the threat of violence or death in their native countries.