Asylum News 64

Book Details Struggles in U.S. Asylum System Kenyan refugee David Ngaruri Kenney had spent years enduring fear and persecution in his home country. After arriving in the U.S., he was able to locate pro bono representation through Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Legal Studies to help him navigate the asylum system. But despite the dedicated help of two Georgetown law students and Professor Philip Schrag, Mr. Kenney was deported back to Africa. Mr. Kenney was nearly killed before he was able to return and live safely in the U.S. The book, written by Mr. Kenney and Professor Schrag, highlights the struggles refugees face when they come to the U.S. and how pro bono legal representation is essential in the success of many political asylum cases. To read more about the book, click here. To listen to an April 29 interview on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show with Professor Schrag and Mr. Kenney, click here. Supreme Court to Review Asylum Case Involving Persecutor Bar On March 17, the Supreme Court accepted for review an asylum case that raises the issue of whether duress is a defense to the “persecutor bar” to asylum and withholding of removal. The petitioner, an Eritrean convert to Protestantism, had been jailed in Eritrea before being returned to military service. While serving against his will in the Eritrean army, he was made to work as a prison guard. A U.S. immigration judge found that the petitioner, who deserted from the Eritrean military and fled to the United States, would face torture if returned to Eritrea. But the immigration judge denied asylum on the grounds that the petitioner had participated in the persecution of prisoners. This decision was affirmed by the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Fifth Circuit’s decision was issued as Negusie v. Gonzales, 231 Fed. Appx. 325, No. 06-60193 (5th Cir. May 15, 2007) (per curiam), cert granted sub nom. Negusie v. Mukasey, No. 07-499 (U.S. Mar. 17, 2008). The petitioner is represented by Andrew J. Pincus at the law firm of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw LLP and in conjunction with the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Yale Law School. Bellevue Physician Speaks on Persecution for Sexual Orientation On April 14, WBAI New York FM radio channel featured an interview with Dr. Leanh Nguyen, Director of Clinical Training at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture. The program discussed the special kind of persecution and trauma that refugees escaping persecution based on sexual orientation face in their home countries.. Click here to listen to the program. Click here for more information on Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture.

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Published on April 1, 2008

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