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Human Rights First

Legal Representation for Afghan Asylum Seekers - Newark, NJ and New York City, NY Asylum Offices

Help Afghans obtain asylum in the United States

Posted February 7, 2022

Work & Deliverables

We are facing an unprecedented crisis caused by the chaotic and rushed withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan. Welcome Legal Alliance is a coordinated coalition effort to ensure that recent Afghan evacuees in the United States are welcomed to the U.S. with dignity and have access to pro bono legal representation. Due to the high volume of requests, we are in need to work with volunteer attorneys that can represent an individual in their applications for immigration relief. We provide training materials, guides, samples, and general country conditions to our volunteer attorneys. Our resource bank is always growing. Human Rights First also provides mentoring attorneys that can respond to questions on an as-needed basis and review final applications. In general, an asylum application requires a personal affidavit of the primary applicant, a legal brief/memorandum, supporting evidence/documentation, and country condition evidence. If the asylum application is an affirmative application pending in front of USCIS, we ask the volunteer attorney attend the client’s affirmative asylum interview in person, which is the only non-remote portion of the representation. This may require travel to the asylum office with jurisdiction over the application. An asylum applicant may also be eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV). We ask that our volunteer attorneys represent all aspects of an individual’s case and assist them with the various related SIV stages (COM Approval and/or I-360 Application), should they qualify. We provide various resources and samples regarding the SIV process. Thank you for signing up to help us in this effort!

Project Plan

Preparation Phase

  • Prepare an engagement letter
  • Volunteer receives case packet, including client materials and screening information
  • Sign up and an HRF employee will reach out to provide you with an available case

Collaboration Phase

  • Await adjudication of asylum application
  • Contact Human Rights First with questions, if any
  • Attend in-person asylum interview with client
  • File I-589 and corroborating materials with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Prepare legal memorandum outlining eligibility for asylum
  • Prepare client's declaration, form I-589 asylum application, and other corroborative materials
  • Review the file, contact the client, and begin preparing applications and supporting documents

Wrap Up

  • Provide client with disengagement/termination letter at conclusion of representation
  • Contact Human Rights First to notify of outcome
  • Ensure that client has copy of asylum grant notice

This project is complete!

This project has been completed thanks to the efforts of our volunteers.

Visit the Project Directory to check out other projects that still need your help!

Additional Information

  • Time Commitment: 21+ hours
  • Training Provided: Yes
  • Additional Training Details: Volunteers will receive training materials, samples, and guides to assist them with representation. Human Rights First will provide light-touch mentorship and office hours for questions.
  • Site-Preference: Remote
  • Open to Law Students: No
  • Bar License(s) required: Any Bar License
  • Required Languages: None
  • Preferred Languages: Dari, Pashto
  • Required Legal Expertise: Immigration
  • Mentoring Provided: Yes
  • Supervision Provided: Yes
Human Rights First

Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. Since our inception 43 years ago, we have worked to create a just world in which every person’s intrinsic human rights are respected and protected, to build societies that value and invest in all their people. To reach that goal demands assisting victims of injustice, bringing perpetrators of abuse to justice, and building institutions that ensure universal rights. Human Rights First has helped tens of thousands of individuals who came to the United States fleeing persecution, torture, and threats of death. We have 43 years of experience providing removal defense and affirmative immigration relief both in-house through direct representation and our pro bono model, which engages attorneys from law firms, corporations, and law school clinics across the country to provide pro bono representation to our clients.

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