Afghan Pro Bono Client Granted Asylum

March 10, 2023

Cleary Gottlieb successfully represented Mr. T, a citizen of Afghanistan, in his affirmative application for asylum in the United States.

Mr. T was a student of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in Kabul in 2016 when he experienced firsthand the deadly attacks on AUAF’s campus by the Taliban in which over a dozen students and staff were killed and many more were injured. After this, Mr. T transferred from AUAF to the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and then moved to the United States in 2020 to complete his LLM at an American university. He fled Afghanistan for fear of further persecution in Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban who completed their violent coup of the government of Afghanistan in August 2021.

Since the Taliban takeover, Mr. T’s parents’ house has been searched by agents of the Taliban and Mr. T lives in constant fear that his family will be harmed due to his affiliations with the American university. Mr. T applied for asylum because he feared he would be further targeted by the Taliban if he were forced to return to Afghanistan.

Ever since moving to the United States, Mr. T has always strived to give back to his community and help others in need, including working as a paralegal in an immigration law practice, working as a case management specialist assistant, and providing volunteer assistance to Afghan parolee clients in his community. Mr. T worked with a team of Cleary attorneys to prepare, submit, and defend his asylum application with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and he was granted asylum just last month. The Cleary team continues to work with him as he takes the next steps toward being able to obtain permanent resident status.