November 8, 2017
Carmen M. Chavez, Esq – Executive Director, Casa Cornelia Law Center
As Casa Cornelia’s Annual La Mancha Awards event approaches on October 19, we take a moment to reflect on our deep gratitude to volunteer attorneys, translators, students, and supporters who make Justice with Compassion a reality. We send a very special thank you to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus for their enduring friendship and enthusiastic support which plays a large part in enabling us to provide life-changing legal aid for the indigent immigrant community when services are needed now more than ever. Below, we share an attorney-client story that serves as a testament to the new hope and opportunity that results, in large part, from the combined energy, effort, and support of our treasured volunteers and supporters.
Two unaccompanied boys, who fled persecution in their home country of Guatemala, were recently granted asylum in children’s asylum cases. Danny, 17, was a victim of threats and violent attacks by local gang members because of his faith. Asylum was also granted to Fernando, 16, who was abused and abandoned by his family and forced to work long hours doing hard manual labor. Volunteer attorneys Flor de Maria Levandoski of Qualcomm and Nancy Stagg of Kilpatrick Townsend worked closely with the staff at Casa Cornelia to prepare these young clients’ applications, respectively. In May, Danny and Fernando each received asylee status in the United States. These asylum decisions mean that each of the boys will be able to go to school safely in the United States and start new lives here.