Immigrant Rights Clinic secures asylum for three clients in as many weeks

Emily Torstveit NgaraProfessor Elizabeth Keyes, director of UB’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, sends exciting news:

I am so happy to let you all know that, under the supervision of Emily Torstveit Ngara (above), our fellow in the Immigrant Rights Clinic, the clinic just got its third asylum victory in as many weeks. These cases were filed two years ago — the asylum office backlog has been that bad — and the clients have been in limbo.

Now a young gay man from Jamaica, a delightful yet deeply traumatized young woman from Rwanda and an older Rwandan man (a lawyer in Rwanda) have gained the ability to stay here, which puts them on a path toward permanent residence and citizenship down the road. Over the years, clinic students Rexanah Wyse, Amanda Heffernan, Miranda Russell and Erika Flaschner did superb lawyering work for all these clients, especially Erika (now a 3L), who worked on both Rwandan cases. It’s a proud and happy day for all of us. Please congratulate Erika if you know her!

The Rwandan lawyer found work at a local nonprofit that provides support for asylum seekers. He learned to paint there and gave Emily one of his paintings today to thank her for her work and her commitment!

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