The Asylum Clinic was delighted when, on September 26, 2013, a client received her legal permanent residence (green card) through a same sex marriage petition. The Asylum Clinic was representing this client on an asylum case, but also filed a family petition for her (the petitioner was her United States Citizen wife) before the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor was decided. The petition was denied in early 2013, but was reopened shortly after the decision in Windsor was issued. This client was one of the first people in the United States to receive her legal permanent residence following a USCIS adjustment interview based on a same sex marriage.
The Asylum Clinic also had two major victories on cases in front of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals this semester. On one case with a petitioner for the Republic of Congo, the Second Circuit granted our Petition for Review and found that the Board of Immigration Appeals had mischaracterized the record in relying on a non-existent ruling by the Immigration Judge, that the Board of Immigration Appeals had abused its discretion in finding good cause for a change of venue motion, and that the Board of Immigration Appeals had abused its discretion in finding that there was no due process violation by the Immigration Judge.
The second case before the Second Circuit is an asylum case with clients who are high priority removals for the Department of Homeland Security. The case has been in litigation for a decade and twice been in front of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In the midst of litigation around the Petition for Review in front of the Second Circuit, the students filed a successful Motion to Reopen based on changed country conditions in Pakistan, causing the asylum case to be remanded to the Immigration Judge. Given the highly contentious nature of this case and the great reluctance of the courts to grant our clients any relief, this was a huge victory.