July 17, 2008
Kelley Drye successfully represented, pro bono, a Russian citizen of Crimean Tatar ethnicity in his request for asylum in the United States.
He was attacked in Russia on multiple occasions by nationalists who targeted him because of his ethnicity. In May 2006, he fled to the United States and filed for asylum several months later. He was denied asylum after his initial asylum interview. In November 2007, Human Rights First, a non-profit advocacy organization, referred his case to Kelley Drye.
The Kelley Drye team spent six months preparing for the asylum hearing. It secured work authorization for the client, drafted a new asylum application that included affidavits from family members, witnesses, country condition experts and medical experts, submitted a brief in support of the application, and prepared the client to testify. On June 25, 2008, Kelley Drye represented him at the hearing.
At the end of the hearing, Immigration Judge Philip L. Morace granted the client's application for asylum. In one year, the client may file for legal permanent residency, and five years after receiving his green card, the client may file for U.S. citizenship.
The Kelley Drye team consisted of partner Robert E. Crotty and associate Sean R. Flanagan.