Pro Bono Client Granted Deferral of Deportation

August 19, 2019

Cleary Gottlieb successfully represented pro bono client Ms. P, who on August 19, 2019, was granted deferral of removal from the United States by an immigration judge.

Cleary’s pro bono team was able to establish that, if forced to return to Ghana, Ms. P would be subject to torture due to her mental illness. The deferral of removal was secured under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), an international human rights treaty, under the review of the United Nations, that aims to prevent torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment around the world.

Cleary began working on Ms. P’s case in 2014 alongside the Bronx Defenders. Ms. P suffers from a delusional disorder, and without proper medications, she experiences acute paranoia symptoms, which has previously led to an involuntary stay in a psychiatric hospital. Due to her criminal convictions, the only relief available to her was deferral of removal under CAT. The team worked with a psychiatrist and Ghanaian mental health experts to establish that Ms. P would be tortured in a Ghanaian “prayer camp” if she returned to the country. Following a lengthy hearing on August 12, 2019, the immigration judge granted the requested relief.