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Paul, Weiss Client Reunified With Her Three Children After Nearly Two Months of Separation

As previously reported by Law360, Paul, Weiss and co-counsel Texas RioGrande Legal Aid Inc. represent three parents seeking reunification with their children, from whom they were forcibly separated near the U.S.-Mexico border. Our work led to the reunification of one of the families on July 11, and we are currently working to obtain the reunification of the other two.

After crossing the border in May, our client M.G.U. and her sons presented themselves to immigration officials and sought asylum because of their fear of returning to Guatemala, where their lives had been threatened due to community organizing efforts undertaken by M.G.U.'s husband. M.G.U. did not enter the U.S. unlawfully and passed her credible fear interview, but was nonetheless separated from her children. The government cited a 19-year-old conviction for a minor offense as the basis for separation.

Over the past few weeks, in their work for M.G.U. and the other two clients, the team has drafted numerous briefs, declarations, status reports and an emergency motion for expedited discovery, and has also prepared for two hearings. On July 11, after 51 days of separation, M.G.U. was released from immigration detention and reunited with her three sons, aged two, six and 13. Paul, Weiss is continuing to push for the reunification of the other two clients with their families. On July 12, U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman held a hearing in Washington, D.C. on a pending preliminary injunction motion seeking to reunite these parents with their children. It is currently pending.

Due to the team’s efforts, in addition to reunifying M.G.U. with her children, the government has agreed to coordinate regular phone calls between our clients who are still separated from their children and to ensure that our clients receive medical information about their children, among other things.

The Paul, Weiss team includes, in New York, litigation counsel Steven Herzog, pro bono counsel Emily Goldberg and litigation associates Meredith Arfa, Anand Sithian, Katherine Kelly Fell, Rebecca Orel, Sasha Freedman and Stephen Thompson; and in Washington, litigation partner David Ball.

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