Long-Time Pro Bono Client Becomes Naturalized U.S. Citizen

December 15, 2020

Cleary Gottlieb successfully represented Mr. D, a gay man from Peru, over the course of nearly nine years, with respect to his applications for asylum in the United States, lawful permanent residence, and naturalization.

While Mr. D was living in Peru, the police sexually abused and tortured him, and his older brothers repeatedly raped him. In addition, Mr. D was physically beaten, fired from his job, and subjected to death threats because of his sexuality. Similar abuse was inflicted on many of Mr. D’s gay friends, including his first boyfriend, who was shot and killed after being threatened many times on account of his sexuality. Approximately 10 years after Mr. D fled to the United States, Cleary helped him apply for asylum. Despite the fact that Mr. D had filed his asylum application well after the one-year filing deadline, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services granted him asylum in 2014 based upon Cleary’s argument that Mr. D’s post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder excused his untimely filing. Cleary subsequently helped Mr. D file applications for lawful permanent residence in 2015 and naturalization in 2019. Mr. D ended his long journey in December 2020, when he was sworn in as a U.S. citizen.