Fried Frank won a grant of withholding of removal for pro bono client Ms. O, and a grant of asylum for her daughter Ms. M based on both having been victims of the MS-13 gang in El Salvador. After Ms. O publically spoke out against MS-13, gang members harassed, and then brutally assaulted her. They then assaulted her 10-year-old daughter Ms. M. The gang claimed that it owned Ms. O, and the mother and daughter fled to the United States to avoid further assaults. They were detained at the border and put in removal proceedings. After a hearing in which litigation associate Leigh Rome put on live testimony and presented the Firm's position, Judge Frederic G. Leeds granted Ms. O withholding of removal based on her political opinion against MS-13, and granted Ms. M asylum based on her familial relationship to her mother. Both can remain in the United States permanently. Ms. M, now age thirteen, is also eligible for a path to citizenship.
The Fried Frank team included litigation special counsel Jennifer L. Colyer, litigation associate Leigh G. Rome, litigation law clerk Fara M. Saathoff, and pro bono coordinator Stella Drevina. The case was referred by Human Rights First.