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WCM Acting Pro Bono Obtains Permanent Asylum for Persecuted Kakai.

October 23, 2018

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Thanks to WCM’s pro bono efforts, a 32 year-old man fleeing severe religious persecution in Iraq was granted asylum by the New York Asylum Office.

The young man, “KA,” faced religious persecution for being a member of a small religious minority in Iraq called Kakai (also known as Yarsinism). In Iraq, KA received many death threats from religious extremists due to his faith all throughout his education.  KA eventually became a physician in Iraq and frequently was not allowed to treat patients because of his faith.  KA’s family was forced to flee their homes due to the strong presence of ISIL in the community and KA’s own brother was murdered by ISIL for being Kakai.

Fortunately, KA applied for and received a scholarship to study health administration at a small university in Pennsylvania in 2013.  While awaiting his asylum interview, he graduated and received his master’s degree in Health Administration in May 2016.

Attorneys Robert Cosgrove, Chelsea Rendelman, and WCM staff provided pro bono legal services for this case by preparing the asylum application, crafting the affidavit, evaluating and compiling supporting evidence, researching country conditions, obtaining a US work authorization, and preparing for and attending the asylum interview.  Our submissions focused on our client’s past persecution as well as his well-founded fear of future persecution based on his religious beliefs.  In October 2016, our client appeared for his interview at the New York Asylum Office and a decision was made nearly two years later. After carefully considering all of the evidence and determining that KA could not safely return home or relocate within Iraq, KA was granted indefinite asylum in the United States.

We will now focus our efforts on KA’s path to citizenship so he can continue his education and ultimately pursue his dream of becoming a doctor in America.

For more information about this post, or WCM’s pro bono activities, please e-mail <a href="">Chelsea Rendelman</a>, WCM’s Pro Bono Coordinator.

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