Coptic Christian and daughter gain asylum
This is an asylum case referred by the Human Rights Initiative on behalf of an Egyptian woman and her 16 year-old daughter. Our client, a Coptic Christian, fled Egypt due to religious persecution in the form of harassment, kidnapping, and sexual assault. She escaped by jumping out of a moving car, but her injuries resulted in the loss of her unborn child. She also was subjected to female genital mutilation while in Egypt and continues to suffer from the effects of the procedure. Based on this persecution, we assisted her in her application for asylum filed with the Houston Asylum Office. That Office declined to grant affirmative asylum and referred the matter to the Dallas Immigration Court for removal proceedings. We filed a Motion to Reopen and Reconsider with the Houston Asylum Office, which was denied without consideration on the merits. In preparation for her individual hearing in Dallas Immigration Court, we prepared and filed a pre-hearing brief along with supplemental exhibits, and we undertook other extensive pre-hearing preparation to present her testimony as well as other fact witnesses and expert testimony to support her claim. On the morning of her hearing on April 8, 2013, in pre-hearing discussions, the government trial attorney agreed to stipulate to full asylum for both our client and her daughter. Our client will soon petition for asylum for her husband and 17 year-old son, who are still in Egypt, so the family can be reunited.