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Patricia O'Connell
Senior Communications Manager

Wiley Rein Secures Favorable Ruling for Client in Pro Bono Immigration Case 

July 21, 2015

Wiley Rein recently secured a favorable ruling on behalf of a client in a pro bono immigration case. The firm obtained an order that will prevent the client from being deported to his home country of Venezuela—where he had previously been tortured by government officials due to his opposition to the Chavez administration’s treatment of workers.

At a hearing earlier this month in Arlington, Virginia, Wiley Rein associates Samantha S. Lee and Tara L. Ward persuaded a federal immigration judge that their client met the standard for a “withholding from removal” order. The judge agreed that the client had been persecuted in the past and it was “more likely than not” that he would be persecuted again if he were forced to return to Venezuela.

During the hearing, Ms. Lee quoted an Executive Order that President Obama issued earlier this year, describing the continued, escalating human rights abuses in Venezuela—including against political dissidents. She also cited numerous human rights and U.S. Department of State reports documenting various lists that Venezuelan officials keep of political dissidents, as well as the detention and murders of political protesters. 

Following the ruling, Wiley Rein’s client was released from detention. The judge’s order means the client can lawfully remain in the United States and will be eligible to obtain a work permit to support his wife and 10-year-old daughter, who is a U.S. citizen.

The firm took the case at the request of the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, a nonprofit group that works to ensure that all immigrants are treated with fairness, dignity, and respect for their human and civil rights.

Wiley Rein and its lawyers have been recognized numerous times over the firm’s 32-year history for their pro bono contributions, and the firm prides itself on a strong tradition of pro bono service to local and global communities.