HOUSTON, September 13, 2018: Morgan Lewis recently reunited a father and his young daughter who were separated for three months after being detained at the US-Mexico border.
Fleeing from ongoing violence and threats of death, the Guatemalan father and daughter attempted to seek asylum in the United States and arrived at the US border on May 30. During their time apart from each other, the father and daughter were held in immigration detention facilities in Texas and Arizona, respectively. The daughter spent her fourth birthday at the facility, unable to talk to anyone in her native language, Quiche, a rare Mayan dialect.
The father and daughter were reunited on August 31 and are currently staying with family in Florida while they await the scheduling of their asylum interview. Efforts to reunite them and facilitate the asylum application process are part of the El Paso Reunification Project, an initiative of the Immigration Justice Campaign, which was created by the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council. More than 25 Morgan Lewis lawyers are contributing time and counsel to the joint project. Lawyers across the firm’s US offices are also working with a number of other nonprofit organizations throughout the country to assist detained asylum seekers, including with credible-fear interviews, requests for reconsideration, and other critical elements of the asylum application process.
The Morgan Lewis team advising the family included partner John Crespo; senior attorney Michael Pfeuffer; and associates Adam Allgood, Aretha Chakraborti, David Miller, and Carolyn Silane.