Associate Azim Chowdhury Quoted in Article on U.S. Government Challenge to Asylum Ruling

Date: Sep 07, 2010

Keller and Heckman Associate Azim Chowhury was featured in a September 6, 2010 Baltimore Sun article about the federal government's decision to appeal a ruling by an immigration judge granting asylum to a mother and her son. Maria Canales de Maldonado and her 18-year-old son, Pablo, arrived illegally in the United States seeking sanctuary from a gang that continued to torment their family after killing another son for not joining the gang, according to the article. De Maldonado's husband came to the U.S. legally in 1998 and a third son, Santos, was granted asylum in 2009—a ruling that was not challenged by the federal government. (More information on the rulings granting asylum to the family can be found here.)

The Baltimore Sun noted that Mr. Chowdhury, who is representing the family, "thinks the government is trying to block all gang-related asylum cases that originate in Central America, even though he argues that this case stands out because of the way the family was targeted." The article also suggested that the family's case has become something of a personal mission for Mr. Chowdhury and quoted his feelings about the family: "I've grown to love them in a way, and I think they feel the same about me. They're almost like my second family."

The article concluded by explaining that for now, the family lives in Maryland in a state of limbo. Santos has started ninth grade, and Pablo, who suffered a head injury as a young boy, is in 10th grade. Both are honor roll students with college aspirations, Chowdhury explained in the article.