New York, October 17, 2018 - Labaton Sucharow’s pro bono immigration team won another asylum case, this time for a Ugandan man who was persecuted in his home country of Uganda because he was gay. Homosexuality and engaging in homosexual activity are illegal and considered a cultural abomination in Uganda.
On October 15, an immigration judge granted asylum to our client who had endured 15 years of persecution for his sexual orientation. The victory comes on the heels of another asylum win obtained by the Firm’s pro bono immigration team on October 12, for a Pakistani national persecuted for his religious belief.
“Uganda is one of the worst places on earth for LGBTIQ individuals,” said Labaton Sucharow partner Gregory Asciolla, one of the mentor partners who led the pro bono team. “Our client was brutally persecuted and tortured by members of his village, students and teachers at his school, and the police throughout his life. He narrowly escaped the last attack before he fled to the U.S. Tragically, his boyfriend and brother were not so fortunate and were murdered that same night.”
Asciolla noted that our client still suffers from his severe injuries, but is looking forward to his new life in the United States where he can finally be himself and start the healing process.
In the declaration the client submitted in support of his asylum application, he wrote, “I am happy in the United States because I am safe. I am able to express myself fully without fearing for my life. Even though I arrived here terrified and had heavy cuffs and chains around my hands, waist, and legs, the Elizabeth Detention Center has felt like home because I do not have to hide who I am. I was delighted to see Pride Week celebrations in America. It makes me hopeful that I will find a better life here.”
“Everyone on the team and at the Firm are thrilled with the outcome,” said Asciolla. “Our client can now live the life he deserves – one of dignity, respect and hope for the future.”
The Labaton Sucharow pro bono immigration team for this case also includes partner Christopher McDonald and associates Joseph Halloran and Anna Menkova. They were supported by the Firm’s professional staff, including Stacy Redman, Cheryl Boria, Peter Schneider, Rian Wroblewski, Elise Latimore, Claudia Moran-Alvarado, and Lisette Rodriguez.
The case was the third immigration victory for the Firm this year. In July, through our partnership with the Immigration Justice Campaign, the Firm also helped reunite a Honduran asylum seeker and his 12 year old daughter who had been separated for four months after entering the country at a legal port of entry with identification and proof of parentage.