A Manatt team including Misa Eiritz, Sirena Castillo and Alexandra McCown successfully represented an El Salvadoran asylum seeker—referred to as MM—who fled his home country following abuse, harassment and threats made against him for his sexual orientation before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
In its brief to USCIS, the Manatt team detailed MM’s childhood experiences of bullying from his peers and his family, physical assault and conversion therapy resulting in mental health conditions and the likelihood of harm if he were to return to El Salvador.
“Now that [our client] is a visible member of the LGBT community, he is afraid he would face physical and emotional violence at the hands of his family members, including his father who has already attacked him in the past, or the Salvadoran government if he were to return to El Salvador,” the brief said.
After more than four years of waiting for an interview, MM was granted asylum to remain in the U.S. to continue his studies to become a nurse. The case was referred to Manatt by long time pro bono partner Public Counsel in 2018.
Read more about Manatt’s Pro Bono efforts here.