Finding Permanent Refuge
Working closely with firm client JPMorgan Chase and by referral from the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, a Sidley team obtained a major victory on behalf of a Tutsi woman from Burundi who was harassed for years by high-ranking members of the Hutu-run military, which culminated in her abduction and torture in late 2015. With her daughter, she eventually escaped from Burundi, recovered from her injuries in Rwanda and then fled to the United States, where her two sons were attending college. She has not seen her husband since the night of her abduction.
After her initial asylum application was denied, Sidley appealed to the immigration court and launched a significant litigation effort, writing a brief in support of the asylum application, obtaining two expert reports and preparing three witnesses for testimony in less than eight weeks. The client testified for over two hours, facing intensive cross-examination by the government lawyer and the judge, who subsequently rendered her decision on the spot and granted our client and her children asylum. The government waived the right to appeal, ensuring that the family will be able to stay in the U.S.