Successful Deportation Block for Nigerian Immigrant

A 2010 appeals court triumph for immigration attorney Christopher Stender resulted in a Nigerian immigrant avoiding deportation, imprisonment, and torture. Following a drug-related conviction in 2002 in Arizona, Nigerian immigrant Lawrence Eneh received a three-year prison sentence and a deportation order. Eneh had entered the United States several years earlier and had worked in a Minnesota health center in the mid-1990s, where he contracted the HIV virus after exposure to a contaminated syringe. In 2000, just two years before the conviction, Eneh obtained legal U.S. residency.

Represented by attorney Christopher Stender in San Francisco’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Eneh presented evidence that upon his return to Nigeria following his release from a U.S. prison, he would suffer immediate detainment, imprisonment, and denial of access to the medications needed to sustain his life. This evidence included reports showing Nigerian government officials detain those convicted of drug crimes in another country immediately upon re-entry. The imprisonment and withdrawal of medications qualifies as a form of torture in the eyes of the appeals court. Because federal law in the United States forbids deportation in cases where it will result in a deportee’s torture, the appeals court blocked the deportation order.


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About Christopher Stender

After working for three years as Assistant Chief Counsel for the San Diego District of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, Christopher Stender launched a law partnership in 1993. Initially known as Stender & Larkin, the firm was renamed Stender & Associates, PC. Christopher Stender and his team of bilingual associates provide comprehensive immigration-related legal services, working with individuals held at Arizona’s detention centers and prisons in Eloy and Florence, as well as at California’s detention centers in El Centro, San Diego, and San Pedro. Christopher Stender assists in bond procurement and payment, visitation and hearing scheduling, and detainee transportation. He is known for taking tough cases, promoting novel legal theories, and getting positive results for his clients. He routinely appears before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the First, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Prospective clients can read about the immigration process in both English and Spanish on his website. Christopher Stender spent his undergraduate years at the University of Würzburg, Germany, and the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1990 from the Syracuse University College of Law. An East Coast native who lived abroad for two years, Christopher Stender has traveled extensively throughout Europe. In addition to his native English, he speaks German and Spanish. He supports Grace Point Church, Homeless Outreach, Cesar Chavez Elementary School, Tijuana Schools Mission, and Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. He lives with his wife and four children in San Diego.

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