A mother and her young child fled an abusive relationship in her native country to start a new life in the United States. The mother had experienced extreme emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, persecution, and torture. Upon arriving to the U.S., she announced her request for asylum and fear of returning to her home country. She and her child were placed in removal proceedings and sent to a detention center. After being released, they traveled to the Chicago area and established their new home in the northern suburbs. At this point in their journey, a nonprofit partner providing counseling support connected the mother with the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic. NSLAC’s Immigration Law Practice took her case, filed for asylum, and represented her in immigration court. Asylum is one of the most difficult forms of immigration relief to obtain, and the Client’s circumstances were uniquely complex.
The case was open for nearly 5 years. During that time, the Client built a new life, found a partner, and even welcomed home a second child. While the Client’s new chapter was going well, her status was still not secure. If her asylum application were denied, she would be deported from the United States back to a country where she would face imminent danger. After hundreds of hours working with NSLAC staff attorneys, a determination was reached. The Client and her child were granted asylum, meaning they can remain permanently in the United States and have a pathway to citizenship. The Client’s legal representation was provided at no cost, and the outcome has immeasurably impacted her life for the better. This story was only possible because of the generosity of community members who support NSLAC and allow our team to ensure that all have access to justice.