RILC Client Receives Asylum!

We are thrilled for our client M. from Afghanistan who recently received asylum!

Following the fall of Kabul to the Taliban on August 15, 2021, M. and his brother were evacuated by the U.S. government as part of Operation Allies Refuge. After being processed through U.S. military bases abroad and on the continent, they arrived in Hawai’i to pursue degrees in the University of Hawai’i system.

M.’s asylum application was processed as part of Operation Allies Welcome, a whole-of-government effort to welcome and regularize the immigration status of the close to 80,000 Afghan allies who were evacuated to the United States.

We are so thankful to have been part of M.’s journey. In particular, mahalo to Professor Egan, Professor Yoo, and Kara Teng ’17 for preparing M.’s filing, attending his interview, and preparing him for his interview, respectively.

RILC is also proud to have achieved universal representation for Hawai’i’s very small (but mighty) Afghan community over the last year. This would not have been possible without the efforts of Post-J.D. Fellow Ethan Higa ’21 and Richardson clinical students Joshua Nam ’24, Leeyannah Santos ’24, Kenneth Tea ’23, and Sergio Torres Grajales ’23. We are also grateful for the Pashto and Dari/Persian translation and interpretation assistance of members of the Muslim Association of Hawaii and of the Afghan diaspora on the continent. Mahalo nui!

Mahalo nui as well to community partner Pacific Gateway for helping M. and others with the process of refugee resettlement.

We are privileged and grateful to have met and assisted the Afghan community in Hawai’i. May they experience nothing but safety, peace, and aloha as they begin their lives anew in the United States.