Refugee Voices – Patti From Honduras
Protecting the persecuted is a core American ideal. At Human Rights First, we help asylum seekers who fled persecution and violence navigate the complex U.S. legal system by matching them with high-quality pro bono attorneys. Explore Patti's inspiring journey from persecution to freedom.
Represented by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
Ana Patricia or “Patti” is a human rights activist from Honduras who has devoted years of work to promoting gay, women’s, and human rights in Honduras. After years of speaking out in favor of gay and women’s rights, Patti was raped at gunpoint by attackers who warned her that they were going to “make [her] wish that [she] had never been born.” As they hurled insults and threats at her, they made it clear that they opposed her work on recently proposed legislation that would have improved the rights of homosexuals in Honduras. In fear for her life, Patti was able to escape to the United States, where she sought asylum.
Patti’s case was assigned to a team of attorneys at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP that included Robin Nunn, Frank Jin, Aman Mahray McHugh, Daniella Casseres, and Stacey Friedman. They represented her before the asylum office, the Newark Immigration Court, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. They also helped her petition for her children to come to the United States, where they are now resettled and doing well.
WATCH PATTI’S STORY
“WHEN I CONTACTED HUMAN RIGHTS FIRST, THE FIRST FEELING I GOT FROM THE PEOPLE THAT I WAS IN TOUCH WITH WAS HOPE.”
HUMAN RIGHTS IN HONDURAS
Human rights defenders, including for women’s rights and LGBT rights, are often the targets of violence because of their activities. Many reported incidents of violence and persecution in Honduras often receive inadequate investigation.
Reports of abuse and harassment by the police against LGBT activists continues, including violent killings of LGBT persons and documented cases of assault and discrimination against other members of the community.
LAWYERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
“I knew that [Robin] was the person [who] was working above and beyond the scope of her professional responsibilities.”
Human Rights First has worked with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP for more than twenty years. In that time, the firm has taken and won dozens of challenging asylum cases. The firm has also taken a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) case. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s dedication to securing asylum from those facing persecution led the firm to establish an entire asylum practice group.
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP was awarded the 2010 Marvin Frankel Annual Award for their pro bono contributions to Human Rights First.