The hard work of Safe Harbor Clinic students Mary Margaret Anderson ‘11, Nabilah Hossain ’12, and Laura Zimmerman ‘11 paid off as their client’s Non-immigrant Status Petition was granted. Their client, a woman from China, is in removal proceedings and had been battered by her partner. She had gone to the police for help and cooperated in the prosecution of her abuser. As this type of case was a departure from the Safe Harbor’s usual asylum work, the students had to learn the law dealing with the protection of battered spouses and partners and decided that the petition they filed was the best remedy. They then put together a strong evidentiary package which clearly convinced the adjudicators at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The news came just in time, before Anderson and Zimmermans’ graduation. The next step the Clinic hopes to use is their client’s new status to have the removal proceedings against her terminated.
One of the Clinic’s most challenging cases from the fall also had a happy ending this spring. Its client, a gay man from Jamaica, which is, as Will Spitz ’12 wrote in his brief, “one of the worst places in the world to be gay,” was granted asylum. His case was particularly difficult because he had been denied asylum in the UK, had several other issues that raised questions about his past but all of which could be traced to his lifetime of abuse due to his sexual orientation. In addition to these difficulties, our client had a poor memory and a stutter. Noor Alam’12, Alexandra Puleo ’11 and Spitz navigated through rough waters to see this case to conclusion. They did so with dedication, creativity and generosity of time and spirit. One particularly nice aspect of the case was the help they received from a SHP alum in London, Ilona Lewyckyj, who is performing refugee work there.