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"Defending Religious Exercise to Keep a Family Together"


Juan Vasquez, Jr. and Victor Viser article on "Defending Religious Exercise to Keep a Family Together"

Houston Lawyer

In Rodriguez v. Sessions, the U.S. citizen wife and daughter of Juan Rodriguez, an undocumented immigrant, brought a claim arguing that his impending deportation violated their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. A pro bono legal team from Chamberlain Hrdlicka, including Juan Vasquez, Jr., Justice David Medina, David Calvillo, Peter Williamson, Adrian Ochoa, and Victor Viser, worked on behalf of the Rodriguez family to argue that deporting Mr. Rodriguez was not the least restrictive means available to the government and that such action would substantially burden his U.S. citizen family members, who would be forced to make a false choice between exercising their faith in El Salvador and staying in the United States without Mr. Rodriguez.

The U.S. District Court dismissed the case without prejudice when the government agreed to allow Mr. Rodriguez to remain in the country to pursue his asylum claim. This case highlights that while immigration decisions are often treated as isolated to the immigrant individually, they have significant individual, familial, religious, and community effects that can implicate the rights of U.S. citizens.

Here is a link to the article - https://thehoustonlawyer.com/