On February 5, 2021, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) granted asylum to our client, a gay man who suffered horrific violence based on his sexual orientation. For their own homophobic reasons, the police in his country of origin refused to investigate the hate crimes that were committed against him. Fearing for his life, our client fled to the United States. Now that he has received asylum, he can live and work in the United States indefinitely.
The modern asylum system grew out of a reaction to the horrors of World War II and the Holocaust. In 1951, the United Nations defined a refugee as any individual not able to return to his or her home country because of a well-founded fear of future persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. The United States later signed onto this system, and in the 1990s, officially recognized that persecution due to one’s sexual orientation can qualify as a basis for asylum.