News & Announcements

Weil Secures Asylum for Jamaican Man Fleeing Persecution Based on Sexual Orientation

On December 3, 2018, a Weil pro bono team secured asylum in the United States for its client, a young man from Jamaica. The client was fleeing violence and persecution in his home country because he is gay. Following a lifetime of consistent threats and abuse due to his perceived sexual orientation, after being viciously beaten in 2016, Weil’s client entered the United States with the goal of seeking asylum. Weil assisted him in filing an affirmative application for asylum in August 2018, after he was referred to us by our pro bono partner Human Rights First.

The Weil team on the matter included partner Ronit Berkovich and associates Olivia Greer and Ramsey Scofield. The New York-based team was required to mobilize quickly on this fast-moving matter, rapidly drafting the required brief and accompanying personal declaration from the client after he was granted an interview date just weeks after submitting his application. The team represented the client before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in New York, preparing him for his interview and then accompanying him to his interview, which took place on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

On December 3, the Weil team returned with its client to the USCIS office to receive a decision on his asylum application, and celebrated with him as he was welcomed officially to the United States. As a result of the decision, this young man – a dedicated dancer – will soon receive his work authorization, and in a year will be entitled to apply for his green card, securing permanent residence in the United States.