Yesterday I received word that one of my asylum clients, a Venezuelan college student who retained me in 2015, was granted asylum after a long wait for an interview with the Miami Asylum Office of USCIS. She was a proactive student protester and organizer against the Maduro regime, and took part in numerous campus protests against the dictatorial and economically ruinous policies of that government. She attracted the attention of government sponsored thugs, was physically assaulted by them and threatened with death if she continued her activities. This prompted her to flee to the United States and seek asylum.
Her case was a textbook example of how to make an affirmative asylum claim. It was well documented with contemporaneous evidence of her role as a protest coordinator, including photos, social media communications illustrating her protest activities, pictures of her physical injuries and hospitalization after surgery, an exhaustively complete I-589 asylum application with supporting records, and a compelling personal written statement regarding her protest activities and subsequent persecution because of them.
I had little doubt she would get an asylum grant, but there is always the professional challenge of assisting the client in the preparation of the asylum claim, ensuring that it is timely filed within the "one year deadline," following up with USCIS to keep the claim on track, and preparing the client for the interview.
Results like these are what keep me doing this work. In a year's time she can apply to become a permanent resident, and four years after that apply to become a U.S. citizen. Her case serves as proof that America is, and always will be, "A Nation of Immigrants."
Brian D. O'Neill Attorney at Law, LLC
Immigration, Employment and Business Law