Historical Cases

The Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project’s Asylum Program provides pro bono representation to individuals who fear returning to their native countries because they have been persecuted or would face persecution on account of one or more statutory grounds. The following are some representative cases:

The immigration judge granted asylum to the following cases:

  • A young man from Guatemala whose stepfather, a gang member, physically abused him in order to force him to join the gang. He was represented by King & Spalding.
  • A woman from Mali who fears returning to her country where she would be forced to undergo circumcision and because of her mother’s political activities. She was represented by Goodwin Procter LLP.
  • An ethnic Christian from Burma who was detained twice because of his involvement in church activities. He was represented by McDermott Will & Emery.
  • A journalist from Venezuela who received death threats because of her suspected anti-Chavez position. She was represented by Sidley Austin LLP.
  • A woman from Cameroon who was forced to comply with certain widow rituals including a forced marriage to her brother-in-law. She was represented by Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

The Asylum Office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services granted asylum to the following:

  • A young journalist from Afghanistan targeted because of his association with the United States and with Western music. He was represented by Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
  • A woman from Somalia, her two daughters and her handicapped son, who all fear persecution on account of clan affiliation. The mother and her daughter also sought protection because of the pervasive violence against women throughout the country and the possibility that they would be circumcised against their will. In addition to his clan affiliation, the son also fears persecution due to the lack of protection for the disabled in the war-torn country. The family was represented by Crowell & Moring LLP.
  • A woman from El Salvador who was sexually harassed and then assaulted by a high-ranking government official. The asylum seeker successfully established an exception to the one-year filing deadline. She was represented by Howrey LLP.
  • An interpreter from Iraq who feared he would be targeted because of his ethnicity and his association with the U.S. military. He was represented by Steptoe & Johnson LLP.
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