Prince Lobel is pleased to announce a victory for our pro bono client Andrea López*, who, on May 15, 2019, was granted permanent resident status in the United States after fleeing her native Guatemala. Andrea’s mother had come to the United States to find work and left her daughter behind in the care of relatives. When those relatives proved to be neglectful and unwilling to provide for Andrea’s needs or protect her from the rampant gang violence in their neighborhood, Andrea realized she had no choice but to flee and attempt to join her mother in America.
In an incredible show of courage, eight-year-old Andrea left the only home she had ever known and walked across Guatemala into Mexico, where she boarded a bus for the United States. When she arrived at the border crossing in Texas in 2014, Andrea was immediately arrested and sent to a detention center. Eventually, she was released and sent to live with her mother in Massachusetts and her case was passed over to Kids In Need of Defense (KIND), a nonprofit organization that put her in touch with Cailin Burke of our Litigation Practice Group. Burke and the Litigation Practice Group worked tirelessly for Andrea, helping her navigate the Trump administration’s new immigration laws, guiding her through the complicated U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services process, and ultimately defending her in Immigration Court. Burke’s ultimate success means that Andrea can remain as a legal permanent resident in the United States and begin the process towards getting her green card and starting a new life in America.
“I have worked with refugee children before, and it is one of the most rewarding parts of my practice. These children have had to endure terrifying situations and have faced massive obstacles in their search for a better life, and I feel privileged to be their advocate and help them secure a brighter future. Andrea was a joy to work with – she is smart, strong, and capable, and because of her new permanent resident status, her chances of success are excellent. I’m proud of Andrea and all we have achieved together.”