Achieving LGBT Equality Through Litigation, Legislation, Policy, and Public Education

Archives: Asylum & Immigration

Case: In re Admission of Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia’s parents brought him from Mexico to the United States when was an infant. Sergio’s father applied for an...

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Case: W.K. v. Gonzales

NCLR petitioned the Eighth Circuit to reconsider its denial of W.K.’s asylum application, a decision that would return W.K. to Zimbabwe where he was regularly abused, tortured, and imprisoned for being gay

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Case: Soto Vega v. John Ashcroft

NCLR filed an amicus brief on behalf of a gay Mexican man, Jorge Soto Vega, whose asylum application was denied by an immigration judge because Vega did not “look gay”

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Case: In re Shinegerel

NCLR helped a lesbian woman from Mongolia obtain asylum after she suffered severe abuse, interrogation, and threats of incarceration in her home country

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Case: Martinez v. Holder

Saul Martinez is a gay man from Guatemala who was beaten, sexually assaulted, and threatened by Guatemalan Congressman and repeatedly harassed by the Guatemalan police because of his sexual orientation. He fled to the United States and applied for asylum. However, in 1992, when he initially applied for asylum without an attorney, the U.S. had not yet recognized sexual orientation as a ground for asylum.

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Case: In re Vanessa

NCLR filed an asylum application for Vanessa, a lesbian woman from Nicaragua who regularly suffered beatings and harassment from the husband she married to avoid social stigma for being a lesbian

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Case: In re Valeria

NCLR served as counsel for Valeria, a gender non-conforming woman from Mexico, in her efforts to obtain asylum after she returned to Mexico and was brutally assaulted, mutilated, and left for dead.

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Case: In re Raul

Originally from Peru, Raul is a transgender man who, from a very early age, knew that he was in the wrong body. As a child, he woke up every morning waiting for his body to change from female to male. His family had a difficult time adjusting to their child’s gender identity and expression. In school, he endured verbal and physical attacks, isolation, and harassment on a daily basis. Raul sought refuge in the United States where his relatives resided. His search for legal help went on for nine months and he was ready to give up when he found NCLR. Raul made his way to San Francisco where he proceeded to file for asylum. NCLR, with the assistance of pro bono attorney Cara Jobson at Ark, Wiley and Jobson, filed his application in February 2007. Raul was granted asylum in July 2007.

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Case: In re Martin

Martin is an HIV-positive gay man from Mexico. Martin felt ‘different’ from other boys from a very young age. His father would punish him harshly for “not acting like a boy.” Upon finding out about his son’s homosexuality, Martin’s father beat him, verbally abused him and then kicked him out of the house with no belongings. He was 15 years old. Since then he has had no contact with his family. He moved in with a friend and started working at the age of 16. For three years, he tried his best to survive in a world that was hostile towards him because of his homosexuality.

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Case: In re Luis

Luis, a 24-year-old gay man from Mexico, suffered years of discrimination, harassment, ostracism, and exclusion from school, sports, his family, and peers because of his sexual orientation. Rather than protect him, police officers in Mexico physically assaulted Luis on numerous occasions.

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