Asylum Obtained for Russian LGBT Client
In November 2012, client SR left his homeland of Russia to seek asylum in the United States. A gay man in his mid-twenties, SR had been persecuted for nearly his entire life due to his sexuality. He turned to Immigration Equality, a leader in LGBT and HIV immigration rights, which represents hundred of LGBT people fleeing persecution each year through its LGBT Asylum Program. Partner Madlyn Primoff suggested that Kaye Scholer get involved in Immigration Equality’s work after seeing a presentation by the organization, and since November 2012, the firm has taken on four cases through the LGBT Asylum Program.
Immigration Equality referred SR’s case to Kaye Scholer in spring of 2013. Associates Aaron Levine and Shay Soltani met with the client for several intake interviews, during which he laid out the chronology of his life and his grounds for seeking asylum. This material was used to draft a powerful Affidavit of Support to accompany the client’s I-589 Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal. Five weeks after the application was submitted to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, SR was granted an interview. Accompanied by Levine and Counsel Tatiana Alyonycheva, who served as translator, the client answered numerous questions about his sexuality and his life to establish his credibility and provide first-person evidence that he met the criteria for asylum. On December 26, 2013, his request was granted. Now free to begin a new life in the United States, SR will be eligible to file for a green card in one year.
In addition to Levine, Soltani and Alyonycheva, Associate Neal Hampton, Senior Legal Assistant Albert Cora and former Associate Duane Rudolph worked on SR’s case. Partner Benjamin Hsing supervised.