A success story to share with you. I am honored to have been by Catherine’s side throughout the last four years while she has worked her way through the immigration quagmire. I met Catherine in 2012 when she was working on her second Master’s Degree here in the United States. Prior to coming to the United States Catherine was a respected lecturer and defender of Women’s Rights in her home country of Kenya and the East African Region. As a guest lecturer in the United States she brought her vast experience to eager audiences. As Catherine’s studies in the United States were coming to an end she disclosed to me her fear of returning to Kenya. I will not share the details here but suffice it to say that Catherine could not return to the persecution that she had suffered for many years.
Catherine took the brave step to file an asylum application seeking the protection of the United States due to the harm she had suffered in Kenya and the harm she would definitely endure if she returned to her birth country. It is a difficult task to re-live the horrors of one’s past life. With much pain and determination Catherine worked alongside our staff and prepared her life story. When Catherine and I went to her interview at the asylum office she was prepared, yet fragile. After the interview, we both expressed our disappointment that the Officer seemed disinterested and rushed us out the door. A few weeks later Catherine was granted asylum. In hindsight, maybe he didn’t need to ask too many questions because Catherine and our team prepared a thorough application. We all knew she couldn’t go back to Kenya and just maybe we conveyed that to the Officer before he even met her.
Catherine is now a lawful permanent resident of the United States and in a few years I am certain she will become a United States Citizen. Catherine is a modest, soft-spoken powerhouse. We are grateful that the asylum office granted her safe haven and, in return, this country will benefit from her continued presence.
Submitted by Shelley Grant, Esq. and Catherine