More Recent Case Victories:
Mark Frey won asylum in two cases. One client was a woman from Guinea who feared a second circumcision and a forced marriage. The second was a man from Ethiopia who had been detained and tortured due to his Ogaden ethnicity and suspected support for the Ogadeni political party.
University of Minnesota Law School Clinic’s, Elsa Bullard, Elizabeth Super, Brianna Mooty and Professor Steve Meili won asylum for a woman from The Gambia. The client had been subjected to female genital mutilation and now feared the same treatment for her daughters, who were born in the United States.
Dick Zonneveld won asylum for a man from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The client was an evangelical Christian and a praise singer who, as a result of his popularity, ended up helping an opposition political party raise awareness of human rights violations. Unfortunately, these activities led to his persecution, causing him to flee the country. Now that he has been granted asylum, this man continues to actively advocate for the Congolese people and speak out against human rights violations, particularly in the Eastern DRC.
Noel Evans of Thomson Reuters provided needed counsel to a Somali man who had to go through a procedure known as called “nunc pro tunc” asylum in order to be able to get his permanent resident status. This entailed working with her client to prepare his own asylum application. Although the client had previously been granted asylum through his wife, they had since divorced. Noel helped the man with the application process and accompanied him to his interview. He is now on the way to becoming a permanent resident, having been granted asylum in his own right.
A team of attorneys from Faegre & Benson, including Jennifer Dukart, Pamela Stein and Elaine Kumpula, had the joy of hearing their client scream, “YES!” into the phone upon learning she had been granted asylum. In fact, it took a second phone call, after the excitement had subsided, to relay all of the good news. Their client was a Somali woman who had been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) and opposes the practice.
Jana Bruder of Dorsey & Whitney and Anne Applebaum (formerly of Dorsey & Whitney and now with the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota) are recognized for their worked on behalf of a Kenyan woman who suffered severe domestic abuse and also had to witness the abuse of her children. Thanks to Jana and Anne’s efforts, their client can now live safely in the United States, where she is happily working to reunite with her children in a safer environment.
Dori Handy, with consulting attorney Kathleen Lohmar-Exel, provided invaluable assistance to a young woman from Saudi Arabia. Dori noted that the assistance “likely saved her life." The client had suffered abuse from her father for many years, and given the role of women in society, would not be able to escape his control upon returning to Saudi Arabia. She feared sexual abuse, further domestic assault and potentially death. She can now live safely in the United States and is currently engaged with The Advocates as a volunteer Arabic interpreter.
Marianne Krljic and John Ohle of Thomson Reuters, with assistance from consulting attorney Naomi Perman of the Perman Law Firm, successfully won asylum for their client, a Kenyan woman. The woman had suffered past female genital mutilation and feared ongoing harm if she were forced to continue living in Kenya. Upon being granted asylum, the client expressed her tremendous gratitude.
David Woodward scored an unusual victory for his Bhutanese client. The client and his wife were denied asylum and referred to an Immigration Judge, however, the client maintained that he was in legal status through his employment-sponsored petition. Since employment related immigration issues are uncommon in the asylum area, Scott Borene and George Maxwell of the Borene Law Firm, were able to provide important context and advice on these employment issues. As a result, David successfully argued a motion before the Immigration Judge to terminate the proceedings, removing the client and his wife out of the imminent threat of deportation. David then called the director of the Chicago Asylum Office and received a commitment to review the client’s asylum application again in light of the Judge’s determination regarding status. We are waiting on the outcome from the Chicago Asylum Office.
Brian Dillon, Jason Stover and Greg Merz of Gray Plant Mooty, assisted consulting attorney Jeff Larson, won asylum for a woman from Cameroon before the Immigration Court. The client was targeted because she provided food and other support to membership of the opposition political party.
Jeb Bowlus, Annie O’Neill, Rachal Romsaas, Carline Vantine and Elaine Kumpula of Faegre & Benson won asylum for a man from Ethiopia. Their client was Oromo, and had suffered because of his Oromo ethnicity, as well as for his involvement educating fellow citizens about democracy, working as an election monitor and participation in opposition political parties.
Thank you to the following attorneys who worked diligently on cases that are now concluded:
Christian Franken, Dick Zonneveld, Jennifer Hassemer, Britta Loftus, Amanda Igbani, Joel O’Malley, Nancy Johnson-Maloney, Sam Walling, Jenny Zanner, Arthur Brown, and Chris Huntley.
Thank you to the following individual volunteers who have taken new cases, provided consultations to new volunteer attorneyss and translated and interpreted:
Dianne Heins & the team of attorneys at Faegre & Benson who represent individuals at detained master calendar hearings
Sarah Novak Fassbender
U of M Law School Clinic
Thanks also to the many other volunteers who have generously donated their time and efforts to advance human rights through The Advocates.