Cases & Deals

Togolese children receive assistance in seeking asylum

Clients Two Togolese children applicants for asylum

Jones Day New York successfully obtained asylum for two Togolese children who had been left in the United States by their parents out of fear of persecution in Togo. In 2005, the children's parents left them with an acquaintance of their father's in New York City. The children's father was subsequently arrested in Togo because of his political activity and disappeared while in police custody. The children's mothers continued to be harassed by the Togolese authorities. After their father's acquaintance was no longer able to care for them, the children lived with their current caregiver, Ms. K, herself a naturalized asylee from Guinea. Jones Day represented the children in connection with Ms. K's guardianship application and a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status ("SIJS") hearing before the Bronx Family Court, as well as the children's federal asylum application. On February 26, 2008, the court granted Ms. K's guardianship application and the children's SIJS motion after finding that they had been abandoned by their parents in the United States and that repatriation to Togo was not in the children's best interest. Having been successfully adjudicated eligible for SIJS by a New York state court, the children gained an alternative federal avenue for permanent residency in the United States and were subsequently granted asylum.