Refugee Voices – José From Colombia
Protecting the persecuted is a core American ideal. At Human Rights First, we help asylum seekers who fled persecution and violence navigate the complex U.S. legal system by matching them with high-quality pro bono attorneys. Explore José's inspiring journey from persecution to freedom.
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP (Finnegan)
“ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES HAD INFORMATION ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS FIRST. I TOLD THEM ABOUT MY SITUATION….AND WHEN ASYLUM WAS GRANTED, IT WAS BLISS FOR THE FAMILY.”
HUMAN RIGHTS IN COLOMBIA
Enslaved Africans were first brought by Spanish colonists to Colombia in the sixteenth century. These slaves replaced lost plantation and mine labor that occurred as a result of the decimation of the indigenous population. As a result, Colombia has the second largest population of people of African descent in Latin America.
Afro-Colombians have long suffered discrimination, displacement, and economic deprivation throughout the history of the Colombia, especially during the 50+ years of conflict between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People’s Army (FARC).
Displacement of indigenous and Afro-Colombian people and attacks on those who try to protect them continues today. Through September of 2013, the Colombian government registered 4,048 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who identified themselves as indigenous and 59,365 who identified themselves as Afro-Colombian.
LAWYERS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
“When asylum was granted, it was a special moment for us.”
Human Rights First has been working with Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP since 1997, when we placed Ashraf Hamid (also featured in “Refugee Voices”) with attorney Allen Sokal. Since that time, Finnegan has taken many aslum cases with Human Rights First and successfully assisted clients from asylum representation through the U.S. citizenship process.