Asylum from Russia
I.S. Law Firm has secured asylum for a young woman from Russia who had been subject to persecution in Russia based on her ethnicity and was in removal proceedings in an immigration court in the United States.
Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm demonstrated to the satisfaction of the court that our client had been attacked in her home country by extremists such as skinheads and nationalists because of her mixed Uzbek-Russian ethnicity and Asian appearance. Extremist violence has been a serious problem for ethnic minorities, dark-skinned immigrants, and guest workers in Russia for a long time. Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm demonstrated that the country’s government has failed to protect the ethnic minorities and in some cases even sympathized with the persecutors, as evidenced by attacks on minorities by police.
In order to be granted asylum, the applicant must prove that he/she qualifies as a refugee. According to the official definition, a refugee is a person who, “owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country; or who not having a nationality and being outside the country of his/her former habitual residence… is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it”.
There is no universally accepted definition of “persecution”, but Board of Immigration Appeals defines persecution as “infliction of harm or suffering by a government or persons a government is unwilling or unable to control, to overcome a characteristic of the victim. Examples include genocide; slavery; torture; cruel or degrading, inhuman treatment; threats of life; arbitrary arrest or detention; inability to earn a livelihood; inability to travel safely within a country; arbitrary interference with a person’s privacy; serious restrictions on access to normally available education; passport denial; constant surveillance; pressure to become an informed; confiscation of property.
In this particular case, attorneys at I.S. Law Firm demonstrated that our client had been persecuted because of her race and had a well-founded fear of continued persecution if she returned to Russia. We also proved that the country’s government was unwilling or unable to control the persecutors, as evidenced by the fact that the attacks on our client were never fully investigated. Moreover, we showed that in some case the perpetrators themselves were government agents, specifically police officers.
Additionally, as required in asylum cases, we demonstrated that our client’s story was supported by objective evidence, such as country reports produced by many credible international organizations. Specifically, the 2010 United States Department of State Report on Human Rights in Russia recognized a “pattern of police beatings, arrests, and extortion when dealing with persons who appeared to be of Caucasus, Central Asian, African, or Romani ethnicity”. The report noted that in December 2010, “in the wake of the death of an ethnic Russian after a street brawl involving ethnic Russians and persons of Caucasus origin, Moscow experienced widespread racial rioting by thousands of participants that the authorities were often unable to control. Several dozen individuals of Central Asian and Caucasus appearance were attacked and severely beaten in the capital. President Medvedev condemned the nationalist violence. Some high-level government officials initially failed to do so, and some appeared to give legitimacy to the demands of the nationalists, placing the blame on foreign migrants.” The report also found that “police investigation of cases that appeared to be racially or ethnically motivated was frequently ineffective. Authorities were at times reluctant to acknowledge the racial or nationalist element in the crimes, often calling attacks ‘hooliganism’.”
In order to obtain approval of our clients’ asylum petitions, attorneys at I.S. Law Firm gather subjective and objective evidence, country reports, complete the forms, write memorandums, thoroughly prepare the applicant for the questioning and stand by the applicant’s side supporting him/her throughout the entire process. We are proud of our success rates in asylum cases, both affirmative asylum cases through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and defensive asylum cases through the immigration courts.
PLEASE NOTE THAT CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DESCRIBED BELOW DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY I.S. LAW FIRM, PLLC.