Persecuted Political Activist Granted U.S. Asylum
- Client: Albanian Asylum-seeker
- Date: November 7, 2008
- Location: Chicago Immigration Court
A Schiff Hardin attorney - working on a pro bono basis in conjunction with the DePaul University College of Law Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic - helped an Albanian immigrant who had been persecuted in her home country gain asylum in the United States.
The client was a young woman who had been very active in the Democratic Party in Albania and helped register young people to vote for local and national elections. After engaging in several visible political activities, she was targeted by Socialist Party supporters. Men came to her small business and threatened her on several occasions. They demanded that she leave her town and stop her political activities. Her political persecution culminated when these men kidnapped her, held her captive for a week, and tortured her both physically and psychologically.
After a four year-long asylum process, a Chicago immigration judge granted our client political asylum on account of her past persecution and well-founded fear of future persecution.
Today she is married with a young child. Without being granted asylee status, our client would have been sent back to her home country and faced the likelihood of continued persecution. Moreover, she would have been separated from her husband in the U.S. and re-traumatized in the process. Now she has legal status and is on a path to U.S. citizenship.