Washington, D.C. – This week, Michelle Li, Zach Fields, Xiao Wang, and Jack Satti secured a significant win in Arlington Immigration Court on behalf of their client, “Rogelio.” Rogelio was seeking relief from deportation to Honduras through a procedure known as withholding of removal. While tens of thousands of immigrants seek this protection each year, only about 3% of such requests are granted. Wilkinson Stekloff’s victory followed a proceeding that spanned seventeen hours in open court over the course of several months, and involved hundreds of pages of briefing filed by both sides.
“It is rare to have a case where a client’s liberty and freedom to live openly are so directly on the line,” said Fields. “It has been a true honor to represent Rogelio in his fight to live a full and open life in the United States.”
Rogelio’s fears of returning to Honduras stemmed from his sexual orientation and affiliation with the country’s National Party. He testified that LGBT individuals are often threatened, beaten, and murdered in Honduras. Rogelio also experienced traumatic incidents due to his political affiliation, including being repeatedly threatened at gunpoint and told to leave his community.
“We are relieved that the court saw the truth in Rogelio’s fears about returning to Honduras, and couldn’t be more proud of the courage Rogelio displayed through multiple days of testimony. We hope that this is the end of a long legal battle for our client,” said Li.
Armed with this win, the Wilkinson Stekloff team is now requesting that Rogelio be released from detention so that he may live as a free man.
The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR) referred the case to Wilkinson Stekloff. CAIR Attorneys Eleanor Gourley, Kelly Rojas, and Jennifer Grishkin provided invaluable counsel and support through the litigation.
Founded in February 2016, Wilkinson Stekloff has grown to nearly 40 lawyers and has quickly established itself as the leading trial boutique firm in the country. The firm has tried over a dozen cases to verdict across the country, winning the vast majority, and has won several other pre-trial victories in bet-the-company cases.