After over 10 years of forced separation from her children, our client Ariana* was joyfully reunited with them, her brother, and her sister in the United States. The family hugged, smiled and shed tears during their emotional reunion. They also thanked the Florence Project in the above video sent to Ariana’s attorneys.
When Florence Project attorneys first encountered Ariana, she spoke only a rare indigenous language and had been deported. The government didn’t provide Ariana with an interpreter on several important occasions during her asylum proceedings, making her case much more difficult to win.
Ariana had fled exceptional violence at the hands of her husband, but despite the severity of the harm she had suffered, an immigration judge denied her claim. We appealed that decision, believing it was wrong. But while her appeal was pending, the U.S. government determined that Ariana had to wait for the appeal decision from outside of the country, in Mexico, and she was deported.
We appealed Ariana’s case for over eight years. She escaped domestic abuse and gender-based persecution when she migrated to the U.S. Ariana was found not credible due to the government’s failure to provide interpretation in her native Indigenous language and the resulting inconsistencies caused by the language barrier—an injustice we challenged in many courts.
In March 2022, we succeeded in getting Ariana returned to the U.S. for a new hearing after the Ninth Circuit agreed that her first hearing had grievous mistakes.
The government fought us every step of the way. But we used patience, persistence, and every legal tool available to seek access to justice.
In the summer of 2022, Ariana’s case finally concluded. We’re thrilled to report that she won! Ariana now has legal status and can live her life with her family in the U.S., free from danger.
Ariana thanked her Florence Project attorneys. We extend this gratitude to you, as we could not assist Ariana and other detained immigrants without your support.
“My children are happy and grateful to you,” Ariana says. “I am no longer afraid, all thanks to the Florence Project. Thank you all for fighting for me and bringing me back.”
*Pseudonym used to protect privacy.