NEW YORK--(Weil Gotshal & Manges has achieved a complete victory on behalf of three pro bono clients who were facing deportation due to the now-repealed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) immigration ban. Miami-based Immigration Judge Pedro Miranda granted the green card applications of Weil’s clients, renowned HIV scientist Heidemarie Kremer and her twin children, who had been subjected to eight years of waiting and one year of removal proceedings. The family has two weeks to update their medical examinations and will then be lawful permanent residents of the United States. Weil has been representing the Kremers on a pro bono basis throughout the case.)--
“We are pleased that the matter has finally been resolved in favor of our clients, and we found it particularly satisfying that the change in the regulations will make it unnecessary for other persons to endure what our clients had to endure”
After Kremer contracted HIV through a health care accident overseas, she and her twin children were put into immigration removal proceedings solely based on her HIV status. At that time, U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) regulations prohibited HIV-positive aliens from attaining permanent resident status. HHS subsequently issued new regulations in November 2009 removing HIV from the ban. Through various procedural steps, Weil prevented the clients’ removal proceedings during the time period that the new regulation was being finalized.
The Weil team included partner David Bower and associate Robert Vlasis in the Washington, DC office; partner Nicholas Groombridge and associates Cheri Veit and Bin Wang in New York; and associate Diana Widjaya in Miami. Additional assistance was provided by immigration expert and author Ira Kurzban.
"We are pleased that the matter has finally been resolved in favor of our clients, and we found it particularly satisfying that the change in the regulations will make it unnecessary for other persons to endure what our clients had to endure," stated Weil partner David Bower.
Weil’s efforts have been recognized by the HIV Law Project. The organization, a leader in the HIV advocacy field, honored Weil with its Distinguished Pro Bono Legal Service Award at its 20th Anniversary Benefit last November.
About Weil, Gotshal & Manges:
Weil, Gotshal & Manges is a leading law firm in performing pro bono legal work. The recipient of the American Bar Association’s 2009 Pro Bono Publico Award, the firm has also been recognized by The American Lawyer, the Pro Bono Institute, the Lawyers Alliance, the Law Society of England and Wales, among others. The firm’s pro bono policy includes the goal that every lawyer perform 50 hours of pro bono work each year; the expectation that every partner work on a pro bono matter every year; and the requirement that every new attorney – from first-year associate to lateral partner – take on a pro bono matter within his or her first two years at the firm. These extensive efforts span a broad array of matters around the globe, including civil rights, human rights, and voting rights; political asylum; and community and economic development.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges (www.weil.com), an international law firm of over 1,200 lawyers, and 300 partners, is headquartered in New York, with offices in Beijing, Boston, Budapest, Dallas, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Miami, Munich, Paris, Prague, Providence, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Warsaw, Washington, D.C. and Wilmington.