Asylum Victory Ukraine
Recently we won an asylum application for one of our Ukrainian clients. Our client had been in the United States since 2009. She retained our office in 2019, after United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied her asylum application and referred it to the Immigration Court. Since the filing of her affirmative asylum application with USCIS in 2011, many things had changed in Ukraine: Viktor Yanukovych (President of Ukraine 2010 – 2014) was removed from office at the culmination of Euromaidan demonstrations; then Petro Poroshenko (President of Ukraine 2014-2019) took on the presidency, only to lose it to Volodymyr Zelenskyy (President of Ukraine 2019 – Present) five (5) years later. In the meantime, Russo-Ukrainian War ensued in 2014, resulting in Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories and a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022. It’s hard to recall any other country with such an eventful history since 2011. Returning to our client’s claim, the changes in Ukraine had dismissed the tangibility of her original claim almost in its entirety. But they had also created the basis of a new claim. In light of that, we filed new evidence and arguments bringing the Court’s attention to the ongoing Russian occupation of parts of Ukraine, Russia’s shelling of Ukrainian civilians all throughout Ukraine, several documented statements from Russian officials questioning the existence of the Ukrainian nation, and to the evidence of massacres and war crimes committed against the Ukrainian nationals by the Russian state. With that, the Court granted the asylum application by holding that our client’s fear of future persecution upon returning to Ukraine was reasonable in light of the Russian state’s documented genocidal intent against Ukrainian nationals in Ukraine. Nearly 14 years after our client’s entry to the United States and 12 years after filing for asylum, her application was granted. Congratulations to our client and good luck to everyone who is still waiting for their day in court.