Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Asylum Victory in Chicago: trafficking; Congo, Belgium

Ashley Huebner writes: "On August 9th, 2011, the National Immigrant Justice Center and pro bono attorneys from the Chicago office of McDermott Will & Emery LLP obtained asylum for a woman from the Democratic Republic of the Congo based on the harm that she suffered as a victim of sex trafficking.  This decision was unique in that the majority of the harm that the client suffered occurred in Belgium, where the client was trafficked, and not in the DRC itself.  However, the judge found that this harm was a direct and inevitable consequence of having been trafficked from the DRC and therefore constituted persecution of the client in the DRC.  The judge further held that the client had been targeted for sex trafficking because of her membership in the particular social group of “young Congolese women who have participated in prostitution.”  Finally, the judge found that even if DHS had rebutted the presumption of future persecution, the client was still eligible for asylum because she would suffer “other serious harm” if she were returned to the DRC.  A redacted copy of the decision is attached."  Matter of X-, Aug. 9, 2011.

Ashley Huebner
Supervising Attorney, Asylum Project
National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)
A Heartland Alliance Partner
T: 312-660-1303
F: 312-660-1506

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