Sutherland Team Wins Asylum Case

At GAIN, we encounter many difficult cases that post distinct challenges. Complicated immigration histories, imperfect documentation, and dynamic fact patterns all stand to make a case hard to represent. When the amazing team of Sutherland attorneys agreed to represent a detained Haitian man’s application for asylum, we knew the challenge at hand.

GAIN was contacted by the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, a U.S.-based organization, about several Haitian individuals who were detained in Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC) and were interested in seeking asylum in the United States. Among them was MJB, who was afraid to return to Haiti on the basis of his political opinions and activism. Indeed, MJB was the leader of a political group that advocates for the preservation of human rights, including those of LGBTQ individuals, and the protection of democratic procedure in Haiti. MJB had reason to fear for his life; he was violently targeted for his activity, and a fellow member of his organization had been murdered. This prompted him to flee to the United States, where he was detained.

A team of Sutherland attorneys, comprised James R. McGibbon, of counsel, John Fleming, partner, associates Margaret L. Flatt, Matthew J. Blumenstyk, Danny Wells, paralegal Jacqueline Marenick and Emory Law student Maritza Badio, agreed to represent MJB’s case. With the expert testimony of Professor Chip Carey of Georgia State University, the team successfully argued the case in front of Atlanta’s Immigration Court. This was no small feat, as detained asylum cases are rarely granted in this jurisdiction. Though challenging, the case was skillfully guided by the amazing team, pulling off an admirable win.

GAIN is incredibly grateful for the Sutherland legal team’s dedication to this case! Their thorough pursuit of justice helped ensure MJB’s release from detention, and opened the doors for a life of freedom from persecution with the protection of asylum.