Ivory Coast Woman Secures Asylum

March 15, 2019

Cleary Gottlieb’s pro bono client, Ms. C, was granted asylum in the U.S. on March 15, 2019.

Ms. C underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) when she was an infant in the Ivory Coast and continues to live with severe resulting medical consequences. She fled from the Ivory Coast in 2013 after her father repeatedly threatened and beat her for refusing to marry her cousin. After arriving in the U.S., she applied for asylum without the assistance of counsel and was placed into removal proceedings. During the summer of 2018, Cleary, in conjunction with My Sister’s Place, began working with Ms. C. Over the next 9 months, the Cleary team prepared Ms. C for her asylum hearing and spoke with various experts and fact witnesses to corroborate her FGM and beatings, threats of forced marriage, and the persecution she would face if forced to return to the Ivory Coast.

After a hearing on March 15, 2019 at the New York City Immigration Court, Ms. C was granted asylum, and the Department of Homeland Security waived its right to appeal.