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Asylum Granted for Haynes and Boone Pro Bono Client
08/28/2012


HOUSTON – A Haynes and Boone, LLP associate has won asylum for a 23-year-old Cameroon native who faced political persecution stemming from his family’s unwillingness to participate in a corrupt government.

After accepting the case through fellow Houston associate Cisco Rivero and his contacts with Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Inc., Liz Klingensmith was able to secure asylum for the man in less than a month.

“It was a short-fuse case with a quick turnaround,” Ms. Klingensmith said. “And it was an awesome experience.”

The asylee’s father had been granted asylum several years ago after he refused to participate in corruption, leading governmental officials to threaten the rape of his daughters and kidnaping of his son. The father fled Cameroon and sent his son to a French boarding school for safety.

The father was ultimately granted asylum in the United States and became a citizen, while his wife and daughters were granted asylum by virtue of his status as an asylee. Because of his age, the son was not eligible for similar status and was forced to seek asylum on his own.

With the help of Klingensmith, the son was able to show that he would face persecution if forced to return to Cameroon, along with the hardship of separation from the rest of his family.

The case is one of a number handled for the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas by Houston-based Haynes and Boone attorneys. The Human Rights Initiative promotes international human rights through local service to refugees and immigrants who have suffered human rights abuses.