As we look back on 2019, TakeRoot is celebrating the extraordinary courage of clients like Tamara* a Haitian asylum seeker we worked with this year. This fearless political activist was repeatedly persecuted and threatened because of her vocal opposition to the ruling party in Haiti. The harassment increased until she was forced to leave her home for her own safety. Even after she fled Haiti, Tamara’s family continued to suffer threats from the government. Two attorneys from TakeRoot’s Immigrant Rights team prepared her asylum application and worked diligently to gather compelling evidence, which included securing an expert witness on the political landscape in Haiti and medical experts on the impact of the persecution on Tamara’s health. Our legal team received input from our partner organization, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, on how best to support Tamara, which helped us prepare her for her hearing.
At the October hearing, she felt confident and ready to share her story. When the team got to court, Tamara’s testimony and evidence was so compelling that the hearing was over in a matter of minutes. The Judge granted asylum and complimented our staff on their exceptional submission. Most importantly, our client was overjoyed and can now look forward to reuniting with her family after years of separation!
In these hostile times, these kinds of victories in immigration court are especially empowering for our clients and their communities. They are a real testament to the dedication our staff bring to this work every day. Building trusting relationship with clients is a vital part of TakeRoot’s work- we build our knowledge from the people we serve, not the other way around. By learning from each other in partnership, not hierarchy, we build stronger cases and crucial victories. Please donate and help us support courageous political activists like Tamara and countless of other asylum seekers.
During our continued season of solidarity, we stand together as we seek support for vital work and think about the interconnections off all people in our city and beyond. Thank you for standing with us as we work to build this progressive change together.
*Personal details have been changed to protect our client’s identity.