In a case assigned through pro bono law firm Public Counsel, Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP attorney Austin Ward and Shannon Pagel Ward of The Aarons Law Firm obtained asylum for a young Guatemalan woman who fled her country after suffering brutal violence at the hand of her brother-in-law for more than a decade.
Her abuser, a member of a deadly gang, promised to kill her and her family if she ever spoke of the sexual assault she had endured for years. To escape the abuse, the 17-year-old girl and her sister traveled to the U.S. in 2014, but they were detained by Customs and Border Patrol when they reached the Texas border and were processed for removal.
As the client spoke only Spanish, PSBR legal assistants Cristina Banuelos and CeeJay Tapia volunteered their time to assist as translators and help gather the necessary facts for the asylum application. PSBR attorney Jake Douglass also assisted in the case.
The young woman’s asylum application was granted, and she will not be sent back to Guatemala.