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Jim Menton Earns Human Rights First’s Pro Bono Star Award
April 3, 2019
Robins Kaplan LLP is pleased to announce that Jim Menton has been awarded a Pro Bono Star Award by Human Rights First. The award recognizes attorneys who “demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the cases for asylum or related forms of immigration protection that they take on a pro bono basis” through the Human Rights First Freedom for Detained Refugees project.
Menton is being recognized for the work he did to help secure asylum for two detainees. In the first case, Ms. N-A was seeking asylum from Cameroon based on political persecution. She had endured years of arrest, torture, and rape for her support of the Southern Cameroons National Council (“SCNC”), a banned Anglophone political party. After escaping Cameroon, she made her way to the U.S.-Mexico border, where she was detained at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in California. That is when Menton, along with Robins Kaplan attorneys Jill Casselman, Christina Lincoln, Daniel Allender, and Lauren Birkenstock, took up Ms. N-A’s asylum case on a pro bono basis. Menton made the 200-mile round trip to Adelanto nine times to help prepare her case, and also arranged frequent calls with her to provide updates on her case. In the end, the court granted Ms. N-A asylum based upon the overwhelming evidence the firm submitted that she would have faced violence, rape, and possibly even death if she were forced to return to Cameroon.
Shortly after resolving that case, Menton, along with Robins Kaplan attorneys Daniel Allender and Lauren Birkenstock, jumped into a new case on behalf of Ms. M, another detained Cameroonian asylum seeker at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center, who sought asylum based largely on political opinion and nationality. Ms. M escaped Cameroon after being arrested and detained, tortured, and raped by the Cameroonian authorities, who also executed Ms. M’s mother in front of her. The court granted Ms. M asylum and she was freed last month.
Menton will be honored at a reception on April 4 at the Robins Kaplan offices in Los Angeles.
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