Pro Bono Work by Haynes and Boone Associate Wins Asylum for Endangered Central American Minor


HOUSTON – Litigation Associate Pierre Grosdidier, working with Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), has won permanent resident status for a Central American minor who fled his country for the United States.

A gang approached the minor in his home country and threatened to kill him if he did not join them.  Bright and mature for his age, the minor resisted the gang’s bullying.  But eventually his relatives felt that they had no choice but to have him brought to the United States.

He was immediately arrested and reunited with his next-of-kin in Texas. They ultimately contacted KIND, which accepted his application.  Separately, Grosdidier had been looking for an out-of-the-box pro-bono project and had contacted KIND.  Asked by Grosdidier how he could best help, KIND then-Coordinator Victoria Mora suggested that Grosdidier represent the minor and help him secure permanent resident status.  Grosdidier accepted immediately.

It took several years because of the case’s complexity, but the minor was formally welcomed to the United States as permanent resident in December 2014.  It was a nice Christmas present for the minor, who is doing extremely well in school and wants to become an engineer.

KIND was founded by Angelina Jolie and the Microsoft Corporation to create a pro bono movement of law firms, corporations, nongovernmental organizations, universities and volunteers to provide quality and compassionate legal counsel to unaccompanied refugee and immigrant children in the United States.

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