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An Ethiopian national and his fiance, a United States citizen, can finally reunite and get married in the United States to begin their American dream together. The couple was granted a Fiance petition in June 2021 in less than eight months thanks to our Sr. Attorney, Medya Ansari. We are so happy that we got the opportunity to assist them in this process and can’t wait to help more clients reunite with their loved ones.
Our Sr. Attorney Medya Ansari provided a pro-bono representation to an Iranian national detained at the Arizona border by ICE. He belongs to the minority Sunni religion in Iran who spoke out against the government. He feared getting detained and killed by the brutal regime of Iran upon return. The asylum office at the border denied the client’s request to go forward with his asylum claim. We appealed the decision in front of an Immigration Judge who also denied and issued a deportation order. However, our Sr. Attorney Medya did not give up and fought for the client and filed a request for redetermination at the asylum office that was granted. Now the client is no longer in danger of deportation and can present his full asylum case in the immigration court. We do not give up on our clients. We fight for them.
A citizen of Nigeria came to our office over two years after entering the United States on a visiting visa. With the help of our Sr. Attorney Medya, she filed for asylum two and a half years after coming to the United States and was granted asylum at the immigration office. As a part of a conservative ethnic group in Nigeria, this client was forced to marry a man she did not know. She was a victim of severe domestic violence. When she gave birth to her daughter, she voiced her opposition against Female Genital Mutilation. However, her daughter was forced to undergo FGM at the hands of her husband’s family, which resulted in her death. She continued to educate other women about the harmful effects of FGM, and she feared death and ostracization by the community for standing against the harmful cultural practices. With the help of our Sr. Attorney Medya Ansari, she no longer has that fear, as she was granted asylum in the United States in June 2021.
BIA Decision Vacates IJ Order and Grants Remand to a New Immigration Judge for Further Proceedings This case victory is important and begins with what many asylum seekers in detention face when confronted with a biased Immigration Judge that does not hear and adjudicate the case based on the evidence and established asylum law. The client is from an East African country with a horrendous human rights record. Moreover, the oppressive and conservative culture of the ethnic group our client is a member of forced her to undergo female genital mutilation at the young age of 7. She has continued to suffer physically and psychologically from this horrific traditional procedure. This client was denied her ability to worship freely in her Pentecostal religious faith. While worshipping in secret, our client was arrested and detained for 3 months, interrogated and beaten. She was able to flee to a neighboring country where she applied for a refugee status and was issued an identification card. However, she had no rights to work, go to school or freely move because of her status. After three years she left and started her journey seeking a permanent refuge. Our client’s first attorney presented her case and provided a great amount of evidence supporting all of her claims. The court was provided with a report from a gynecological Nurse Practitioner at a clinic confirming the client’s FGM, letters from family and church members confirming her faith and detention, and a country conditions report citing extremely credible sources verifying the prevalence of FGM, the religious persecution, and the treatment of refugees. Despite the seemingly solid case presented, the immigration judge (IJ) denied the client’s application, also making a disastrous finding that her application was frivolous and ordered her removed while granting a limited torture convention protection. A finding of frivolous application means that the client will be forever barred from any other immigration benefits she might qualify for in the future such as a relative applying for her. That is when we were retained. In reading the IJ’s 50 page brief denying her claim we found not only an abundance of blatant errors, but his clear bias against the applicant. The decision was riddled with factual and legal errors. It necessitated a 75-page well-articulated brief challenging the decision as well as the clear bias of the judge. In what can only be described as a jaw-dropping example of overwhelming bias and conduct, he dismissed the findings of an expert gynecologist documenting Female Genital Mutilation and instead opined he wanted photographic evidence of the client’s genitalia and “normal” genitalia to do a side-by-side comparison. We detailed all of these errors in an appeal and lengthy brief to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). In under 4 months, the BIA sustained our client’s appeal, vacated the IJ’s decision, and remanded the case to a DIFFERENT judge for further proceedings. We won! This decision is huge not only to us and our client, but to asylum seekers everywhere. We are committed to fighting every deserving case. This victory proves that even in the era of Trump, we still have the opportunity to fight back against biased IJs and that we can win! If you believe that your case was decided unfairly because of a biased judge, please contact us.
As a part of a conservative ethnic group in East Africa, this client was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation at the hands of her grandmother which left her with recurring infections and a lifetime of pain. As an adult, she faced abuse by the government when she and her husband, who were both Ph.D students attending school in a West European country where an opposition political group had its headquarters, accused them both of being agents of the opposition. She and her family fled to the United States. She feared she would face arrest, torture, and even death if forced to return to East Africa. With the help of Yemi Getachew, she, her husband, and their 2 year old son no longer have that fear, as they were granted asylum in the United States in May 2018.
In her home country in East Africa, this client and her family were victimized when the government unlawfully detained and tortured her husband in order to extort him. In response to this terror, the client and her family fled to another African country. Unfortunately, there was a growing resentment of people from her country of origin and they were being targeted for their nationality. Because of this, her husband’s cousin was murdered and her son was beaten. They no longer felt safe, so the client and three of her children came to the United States. In May 2018, with the help of Yemi Getachew, the client and three of her children were granted asylum.
By all accounts the psychological and emotional scars of female genital mutilation are lifetime. Although the client cannot remember her own Female Genital Mutilation, the brutal act left her with a lifetime of physical and emotional scars. Her sister tells her that she bled for a long time and her family feared she would not survive. She is now married but is unable to enjoy intimacy with her husband and fears having children. East African society strongly supports the practice of FGM and therefore being in the country provides her with constant triggers and the feeling that she may die. As of May 2018, the client no longer has to fear the emotional toll of living in East Africa because she has been granted asylum in the United States.
At the age of 24, this client fled Saudi Arabia to escape her abusive father and a forced marriage. Growing up, she watched her father physically abuse her mother and she too was subjected to beatings at the hands of both her father and brothers. They accused her of promiscuity. She was to be married to a much older man in her father’s country of birth, because the father believed she would bring shame on him with promiscuity. Instead escaped to the United States. Due to the fear that she would be killed by her father upon return to either East Africa or Saudi Arabia, she was granted asylum in May 2018.
This client was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation at a young age in East Africa. She then lived in Lebanon and Greece, where she met her husband. After being unable to obtain asylum in Greece, she and her husband brought their three daughters to West Africa. In West Africa, the client was abused and harassed by her husband’s family due to her unwillingness to subject her daughters to FGM. She and her daughters even faced physical attacks and were ignored when they reported the abuse to the police. The client and her husband no longer have to fight for their daughters’ safety everyday because they were all granted asylum in the United States in May 2018.
Only 8 days after being born, this client was subjected to the cruel practice of Female Genital Mutilation. After experiencing its long lasting physical and emotional effects as well as learning more about its dangers in her nursing studies, she has decided to voice her opposition to this tradition. Because of this opposition, she feels unsafe returning to her home country in West Africa. Luckily, she need not remain in fear and may continue to voice her criticism of FGM because as a of May 2018, she has been granted asylum in the United States.
This client was a journalist in East Africa where she worked to cover the news and provide the public with honest information. The East African government felt threatened by her good work and commitment to the truth. They jailed and tortured her fellow reporters and threatened to kill her if she continued to publish her reporting. Because of this, she, her husband, and her children fled East Africa. She now has the opportunity to work and report in a country that not only preaches, but actually practices freedom of the press because she was granted asylum in the United States in April 2018.
This client has been a tremendous advocate on the behalf of both children and adults with disabilities. She connects with them because of her own traumatic experience of having undergone Female Genital Mutilation at the age of 10. Her work at a nonprofit organization that fights for the rights of those with disabilities and strives to increase awareness has made her home in East Africa an extremely hostile and unsafe environment for her and her family. She is now able to advocate freely because she was granted asylum in the United States in April 2018.
This client faced tremendous abuse as a child when she was forced into servitude by her mother and then raped upon her escape. The rape resulted in her contraction of HIV. Being HIV positive subjected this client to harassment as well as the loss of many rights in her home country of East Africa, as well as in the United Arab Emirates and Sudan. She can now receive proper medical treatment and be welcomed and supported in her community because she was granted asylum in the United States in March 2018.
Growing up in East Africa, this client was physically and emotionally abused by her mentally ill mother. Her community and local police believed her family to be cursed and therefore refused to intervene and stop the abuse. As a member of the Tigrean ethnic group, the client was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation as well as an unsanitary tonsillectomy. She managed to escape this harmful life with the help of her and grandmother. She is now able to pursue an education and live a happy life because she was granted asylum in the United States in January 2018.
She fled to the United States at the age of 20 because as a child, she was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation. FGM left the client with physical, emotional, and psychological scars. This practice, along with other cultural traditions, created an environment extremely oppressive of women. Additionally, as a member of an ethnic group, the client faced persecution when studying at University. She can now live free from oppression because in January 2018, she was granted asylum in the United States.
These clients came to the United States from Yemen with their two young children. They were scared that their daughter would be forced to undergo Female Genital Mutilation in Yemen. Their daughter will not have to fear of that future because the family was granted asylum in the United States in December 2017 in immigration court.
As a child in West Africa, the client forcibly underwent Female Genital Mutilation. The pain was unbearable and as a young girl, she did not understand why her grandmother, a woman who she believed loved her, would subject her to this misery. As an adult, she became a registered nurse with the goal of educating girls in West Africa about the dangers of FGM. However, the practice remains rooted in society which is why the client resolved to come to America. She can now protect her future children from undergoing this cruel practice because she was granted asylum in the United States in December 2017.
This client has faced a lifetime of physical and emotional ailments due to the Female Genital Mutilation she was forced to endure as a child in East Africa. She is now estranged from her husband because he was unwilling to recognize her pain brought on by the FGM and later sexual intercourse. While attempting to raise her three children alone, she endured constant harassment at work due to her ethnicity. She was mistreated and not given any benefits. She now has the opportunity to raise her children in a happy and healthy environment and obtain a fulfilling career because she was granted asylum in the United States in December 2017.
This client has resolved to use the traumas she has endured as motivation for her non-profit work. As a child in East Africa, she was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation which left her physically and emotionally scarred. She lost both her parents at a young age to HIV and was ostracized by her community due to the stigma surrounding the disease. In response to these hardships, she created a non-profit that helps those orphaned and widowed as a result of HIV. The East African government imposes restrictions on non-profits and has therefore created a hostile environment to which she felt unwelcome to return. She is now free to carry on her impactful advocacy and charitable work because she was granted asylum in the United States in December 2017.
This client has been a relentless advocate for democracy in East Africa and because of this, she has faced severe persecution at the hands of the East African government. She was harassed at her job as a university professor, threatened for participating in peaceful protests, and detained and beaten while falsely accused of being a terrorist. The abuse she endured only motivated her to fight for democracy, but she could not do so safely if she remained in East Africa. She is now able to advocate for true democracy in East Africa because she was granted asylum in the United States in December 2017.
At the age of 10, this client was subjected to the atrocious practice of female genital mutilation. The practice has caused her lasting pain and medical problems and has left her unable to engage in sexual intimacy. In East Africa, she was forced into domestic servitude and was prevented from attending school. She eventually became a servant in Dubai where she was abused by her employers. The employers brought her to America where she managed to escape after working for them for 7 months without pay. She now has the opportunity to earn a fair and happy living because she was granted asylum in the United States in December 2017.
At the age of 9, this client was subjugated to the brutal practice of Female Genital Mutilation in her home country in East Africa. This left her unable to form a healthy sexual relationship, fearful of having children, and in a constant state of oppression. She was also oppressed as a domestic worker in the Middle East where she could not change employers, voice concerns about her deplorable working conditions or practice her Christian religion freely. Her wholehearted opposition to this painful practice has alienated her from her family and made her unwelcome in East Africa. With the help of Yemi Getachew, she was granted asylum in the United States in January 2017, where she will be able to voice her opposition to the destructive practice of Female Genital Mutilation.