Honduran Pro Bono Client Granted Asylum

October 14, 2022

Cleary Gottlieb successfully represented Ms. MS, a citizen of Honduras, in her defensive application for asylum in the United States.

Ms. MS is a transgender woman who fled Honduras after suffering extreme physical and mental harm throughout her life at the hands of family members, gang members, and the police. Because transgender women are systematically discriminated against and excluded from Honduran society, Ms. MS was left with no other option but to live on the streets since she was around 15 years old.

Because of her vulnerable position, Ms. MS was routinely the victim of extortion and sexual violence committed by gang members and the police. On one occasion, Ms. MS was detained by police officers who beat and raped her and left her for dead. Even though Ms. MS tried to report the brutal violence she experienced to the police, Honduran authorities were entirely unwilling to assist her.

In 2019, Ms. MS fled to the United States to save her life. Since then, she has received life-sustaining medical care in the form of transgender-inclusive hormone therapy and is in a loving relationship. Ms. MS worked with a team of Cleary attorneys to prepare, submit, and defend her asylum application before the Baltimore Immigration Court. On October 14, 2022, she was granted asylum. The Cleary team continues to work with her as she takes the next steps toward being able to adjust her status.