Cases & Deals

Bangladeshi political activist wins U.S. asylum

Clients Bangladesh applicant for U.S. political asylum

Jones Day successfully obtained a grant of asylum for Client H, a gentlemen from Bangladesh, who had been seeking such relief since his arrival in the United States in 1991. He fled Bangladesh because of persecution he was receiving at the hands of the Bangladeshi police due to his political affiliation and related activities.

Client H arrived in the United States unable to speak English and with a fraudulent passport that had been provided to him in order to flee. His asylum application was denied by an asylum officer and was about to be denied by the Immigration Judge when Jones Day was retained as pro bono counsel in 2001. After a merits hearing handled by his prior counsel, the Immigration Judge indicated that she was inclined to deny his application because an arrest warrant that was submitted in support of Client H's claim, and which the Court had requested him get authenticated through the applicable procedure, was apparently improperly certified.

Upon Jones Day's entrance in the case, the Immigration Judge requested that Client H again attempt to obtain the requested authentication. Through numerous calls and communications with the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh, Jones Day attempted to obtain the requested authentication, but the process was slowed by numerous communication problems, some of which were caused by the intervening Iraq war and related embassy shutdown. The Immigration Judge ultimately denied the application due to the inability to obtain the requested authentication in the time allotted by the Judge. Only four days after entrance of the Immigration Judge's decision, a properly authenticated version of the arrest warrant was received from the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh.

Jones Day subsequently appealed the decision and the Government opposed it. The appeal was successful and his application was remanded for de novo consideration with instructions for the Court to consider the newly-authenticated affidavit and several other pieces evidence that the Immigration Judge had not considered. His application was subsequently granted in December 2005.

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