A team of attorneys from Loeb & Loeb LLP secured a significant pro bono win in a gang-related asylum case on behalf of a Honduran woman and her son who fled to the United States to escape years of violence and threats from the powerful Mara 18. In 2004, the Mara 18 gang brutally murdered the client’s husband (father to her son) because he worked in cooperation with the Honduran police as part of a civilian community group to combat the pervasive gang activity in their neighborhood, one of the most dangerous in Honduras. For nearly a decade, the Mara 18 continued to threaten and harass Loeb’s clients. Fearing for their lives, mother and son finally fled to the United States in 2012, where they were apprehended while trying to cross the border in Texas.
Loeb & Loeb assisted the clients in filing asylum applications and represented them before the Immigration Court. Historically, gang-related asylum claims are overwhelmingly unsuccessful, however, Loeb’s attorneys successfully argued that their clients suffered persecution based on their family’s political association with the anti-gang community group and as a result of the anti-gang political opinion held by their husband/father. The government alleged that Loeb’s clients could return to a different neighborhood in Honduras where the clients had family members, but the Court concluded that relocation was not a reasonable option since the clients’ association with the anti-gang opinion of their father/husband and their own anti-gang sentiments would render them unsafe throughout Honduras. The Court accordingly held that the clients were entitled to asylum in the United States.
Loeb & Loeb’s pro bono team was led by attorney Bernard R. Given II, with valuable assistance from many other Loeb attorneys and staff. The case was handled in cooperation with Human Rights First.
Loeb & Loeb has represented asylum seekers from across the globe, including Cameroon, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Mexico, El Salvador and Kenya, among other nations, who are fleeing persecution or domestic abuse. The firm’s pro bono work 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.