Cases & Deals

Venezuelan mother and son obtain asylum under new MPP

Client(s) Client C

On November 13, a trial team led by Irvine Partner Roman Darmer and New York Partner Jenn Del Medico, and with support from Micah Telegen and Rachel Elwood, successfully persuaded an Immigration Judge to grant asylum for Laredo Project client C and her 8-year old son based on past persecution of Ms. C for her political opinion by the Venezuelan government.

Client C was a teacher in a cancer ward of a state-controlled pediatric children's hospital in Maracaibo, Venezuela. She became concerned about the chronic shortages of medicine, equipment, disinfectant, staff, electricity, and water in the hospital that resulted in suffering and many deaths. Despite orders from her superiors to keep silent about dire conditions in the hospital, C spoke out about them publicly, mobilized hospital workers to attend a country-wide opposition rally, and distributed humanitarian food aid to families of cancer ward patients.

As a result of her actions, C was subject to an escalating series of warnings and threats from a high ranking state official that culminated in a violent attack and beating at the hands of the "colectivos," an armed paramilitary group that is part of the government's security apparatus. During the beating, the colectivos threatened C and her son's lives if she did not stop protesting the government.

Client C and her son were thrilled with the result and grateful to Jones Day for representing them. The case was the first asylum victory for a Venezuelan client under the new Migrant Protection Protocols ("MPP"), which fast tracks asylum cases by conducting trials by videoconference from converted container box facilities at the border.