15 May – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – O’Melveny Los Angeles associate Cacilia Kim successfully assisted a legal permanent resident from El Salvador who faced removal from the U.S. The case was referred to us from the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. Paul Salvaty was the partner in charge.
“CR” is a young gay man who suffers from AIDS. The Department of Homeland Security sought his removal back to El Salvador on the grounds of a prior criminal conviction. Kim convinced the Court that: (1) if removed, CR would be persecuted in El Salvador because of his sexual and gender identity; and that (2) CR’s prior conviction was not a “particularly serious crime,” as defined under current immigration laws, which would mandate his removal from the U.S. The Court held that both factors were established, and CR’s application for withholding of removal was granted.
Following the hearing, CR was freed from federal custody, where he had been for the last 8 months after completing his sentence for the prior criminal conviction, and was reunited with his family and friends, many of whom testified on his behalf at the hearing.
Kim was assisted by paralegal Maria Lopez, who gathered all of the country and human rights reports on El Salvador, helped interview family members, draft declarations, and prepare witnesses. Counsel David Hurwitz and associate Houman Ehsan advised on various parts of the briefs. Assistant Nicki Dolce prepared and filed numerous documents and exhibits for the case. Niels Frenzen of the USC Law School Immigration Clinic also provided helpful advice on legal and procedural issues concerning the case.