Weil is reporting that, in a case referred to the firm by LGBTQ immigrant rights organization Immigration Equality, its lawyers have secured asylum for a Russian pro bono client on the grounds that he suffered past persecution on account of his sexual orientation and had a well-founded fear of future persecution if required to return to Russia.
According to Weil, the firm's client fled Russia in 2013 "after being violently attacked on numerous occasions due to his sexual orientation and after the country’s police repeatedly demonstrated an unwillingness to intervene and provide protection." The Weil team submitted the client’s application for asylum, including a declaration, numerous affidavits, and dozens of reports on Russia’s anti-LGBT policies." Weil Associate Ellen Shapiro accompanied and represented the asylee in his asylum interview, along with Associate Sasha Shulzhenko, who served as translator. Associate Vlada Rebeiz was on the team as well, and Camille Parrilla served as its paralegal. They were supervised by Weil Partner Adam Hemlock.
While the asylum decision was pending, the Weil team assisted the client in securing work authorization. Weil reports that the asylee, who barely spoke English upon arrival in the United States, "is now almost fluent and happy to be in the United States, where he feels safe and can spend time with his boyfriend without fear of reprisal."