Mark Schwartz Obtains Relief for Refugee Under the International Convention Against Torture

CHICAGO, May 9, 2017 – Butler Rubin partner Mark A. Schwartz recently won a pro bono victory on behalf of a Mexican man (“MGR”) seeking asylum and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). After several previous encounters with a local leader of one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels, MGR was kidnapped at gunpoint, held against his will, and forced to witness two execution style murders. MGR was released from custody, but the cartel threatened to “disappear” him if he did not immediately leave his hometown. MGR fled Mexico with his family, and sought protection in the United States. Upon entry in the United States, MGR was detained, and held for months in an I.C.E. detention center while he awaited a hearing on his applications for asylum and protection under the CAT.

Schwartz interviewed witnesses located in Mexico and the United States and submitted numerous fact affidavits along with a trial brief explaining the legal bases for granting MGR relief. The Butler Rubin attorneys tried MGR’s case before an Immigration Judge, presenting both MGR and a country conditions expert as witnesses.

In the Immigration Judge’s written decision, she held that MGR’s testimony was credible and that MGR faced a probability of torture if he is forced to return to Mexico. In light of those findings, the Immigration Judge granted MGR’s application for CAT relief. MGR was released from detention, and is now living with family members in California. However, the Immigration Judge denied MGR’s separate application for asylum, a decision that Schwartz has appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

The Butler Rubin attorneys volunteered their time on a pro bono basis, working with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), through which the firm has previously worked on asylum and other pro bono cases. The firm prides itself on using its litigation expertise to meet unmet legal needs both inside and outside of the Chicago community and has regularly been recognized by the Public Interest Law Initiative for its pro bono commitment.

Formed in 1980, Chicago-based Butler Rubin has established itself as a well-known law firm assisting clients nationally and internationally in complex business disputes, including insurance and reinsurance, post-closing disputes, antitrust law, class actions, defense of corporate directors and officers, labor and employment law, healthcare litigation, and insolvency.