Stories of Justice: Brenda Flees her Home Country looking for Safety
Brenda’s* story is one of courage and resilience. She suffered egregious domestic violence at the hands of her partner in the Dominican Republic. He physically attacked her on multiple occasions, including stabbing her and he preventing her from receiving medical assistance. Brenda’s attempts to seek help from the police were in vain as they turned her away because her abuser was associated with law enforcement. She realized she had no choice but to flee her homeland in search of a safe haven.
Brenda’s journey to the U.S. was treacherous. She risked her life on a makeshift boat to reach South Florida, where she was apprehended by Border Patrol and taken into custody at Broward Transitional Center (BTC). Brenda’s future was uncertain as she faced detention and the possibility of deportation to the Dominican Republic, where her life would be in danger.
Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) became involved in Brenda’s case while she was detained at BTC. Legal Aid recognized the urgency of her situation and took immediate action by submitting a release request to ICE. Unfortunately, the request was denied, but Legal Aid did not give up. They went on to file a motion with the immigration judge and represented Brenda in a Bond hearing, where they successfully convinced the Department of Homeland Security and the Judge to grant her release. This was a pivotal moment for Brenda as it meant she could pursue her asylum claim.
Why It Matters
After her release, Brenda was reunited with family members in the U.S. and will be pursuing a strong asylum claim. Brenda’s story is a testament to the importance of legal aid programs in protecting vulnerable individuals like her. Without Legal Aid’s intervention, Brenda’s situation would have been much worse. Legal Aid Service of Broward County plays a critical role in averting crises every day. To support their mission through donations or learn more about Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS), visit www.browardlegalaid.org.
*Names, images, and some datils have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients
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