prins asylum program
The Prins Asylum Program offers free pro-bono legal assistance for individuals who are experiencing or at risk of persecution in their homeland and are seeking protection in the United States. Qualified individuals include scientists, scholars, professionals, and artists and their families who were previously persecuted or have a current fear of persecution in their native country. For other asylum seekers who do not qualify, the program issues referrals to a comprehensive network of pro-bono attorneys.
Prins Asylum program talks about immigration reform on KUSI News>>
Mikhail Sebastian: Surviving Statelessness
JFS Prins Asylum Client Covered by World Media
Tammy Lin and Mikhail
Mikhail Sebastian took a trip to American and Western Samoa more than a year ago and found himself legally unable to leave and return home. He was forced to stay in American Samoa, unable to leave the island or work. Our Prins Asylum immigration lawyer, Tammy Lin, worked with UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) and the American Samoa government to get Mikhail humanitarian parole so he could return to his life in Los Angeles. (Read about his story on NPR).
After a year-long effort, Mikhail was allowed back into the U.S. this past March. Since then, he has gone to Washington, DC to visit with the UNHCR staff that helped him along the way and to speak about statelessness to a class of law students at the American University School of Law. Mikhail is waiting for his immigration court case to be reopened in Texas, when he will be able to revisit his asylum claim before an immigration judge. In the meantime, he is applying for a work permit and advocating for the rights of stateless individuals while working with UNHCR on their Statelessness Campaign. He hopes to speak at the World Refugee Day events in Washington, DC on June 20.
On April 12, 2013, Mikhail came to San Diego to visit with Tammy and other JFS staff. It was the first time they had ever met and spoken to each other face-to-face. Mikhail still has a long journey ahead of him in his quest to remove his stateless status. For the time being, he’s just happy to be back in the U.S., reconnecting with family, friends, and supporters, and working on a solution to the statelessness problem.
Follow Mikhails’s journey here. Learn more about the plight of stateless individuals in this report from the UNHCR.
Applications for asylum in the United States are approved based on proven past persecution or fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, ethnicity, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Eligibility for assistance from the JFS Prins Asylum Program is primarily based on the persecuted individual’s involvement in a particular career and their desire to continue, or rebuild their career in the United States. Whether or not the persecution experienced or feared by an individual is connected to their occupation, is not determinative of their eligibility for assistance under the JFS Prins Asylum Program. An initial screening will be conducted before an individual is accepted into the program.
Opportunities for Attorneys
Why join the Pro-Bono program?
- Hands-on courtroom experience
- Asylum immigration case training
- Satisfaction in assisting a fellow professional looking to continue and rebuild their career in the United States
For more information call (858) 637-3038 or email.
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