Immigration and Human Rights Clinic Helps Liberian Man Gain Permanent Resident Status

February 6, 2015

A young Liberian man whom the Law School’s Immigration and Human Rights Clinic helped to obtain asylum in 2013 was recently granted a green card, giving him lawful permanent resident status in the United States.

When the client was a year old, his father was murdered by Charles Taylor’s warlords because of his ties to the Doe government. When the client was 12, his family was placed under house arrest for one week because his mother was an active member of the National Democratic Party of Liberia, which opposed Taylor’s National Patriotic Party. Shortly after that, his mother and siblings were murdered in the family kitchen as the boy listened in an adjoining pantry. He escaped before Taylor’s rebels burned down the house.

Beginning in 2009, he attempted to receive asylum in the U.S., but after a hearing on his case in November 2011, a judge denied his claim. With the assistance of student attorneys in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, supervising attorney Professor Stephen Meili, and Emily Good (’03), an attorney with The Advocates for Human Rights and an adjunct professor at the Law School, the client took his case to the Board of Immigration Appeals. In April 2013, four years after his original application, the board reversed the immigration judge’s decision and granted the client asylum.

As an asylee, the client reached out to the clinic for help in becoming a lawful permanent resident. Student attorney Anu Jaswal (’15) drafted and filed the client’s application and documents in support of his status adjustment from asylee to permanent resident. Jaswal also filed a fee waiver request, which saved the client $1,070 in filing fees.

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